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Verizon seeks to ban Cablevision set-top boxes

Thu, 03/18/2010 - 9:13am
(AP)-- As competition for video subscribers heats up in the New York City area, Verizon Communications Inc. has taken a swipe at cable TV rival Cablevision Systems Corp., accusing it of infringing on several Verizon digital set-top box patents.

Verizon filed a complaint Tuesday with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking to ban imports of certain digital set-top boxes used by Cablevision. Verizon accuses the cable operator of violating five of its patents, including one on programmable set-top boxes.

Verizon also wants Cablevision to stop offering for sale or lease imported digital set-top boxes that allegedly violate its patents.

It says Cablevision is using Verizon set-top box technology to compete against it. Verizon offers FiOs TV service in the New York City area.

Cablevision said Verizon is suing because it can't compete.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Verizon is having difficulty competing on the merits in the marketplace, so they are resorting to filing lawsuits and pursuing regulatory bailouts," Cablevision said in a statement. "We obviously plan a vigorous defense."

Verizon said it limited its complaint to one claim for each patent so that the matter could be resolved quickly in about 12 months.

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