cell-phone2.jpgLos Angeles – A federal judge has ordered mobile phone-maker Verizon to pay $115 million in damages in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by ActiveVideo Networks.

According to the May 2010 complaint, ActiveVideo, which provides the CloudTV service, accused Verizon of patent infringement, saying that its FiOS system infringed on four ActiveVideo patents related to video-on-demand and interactive TV services.  ActiveVideo Networks CEO Jeff Miller, said that historically his company has not pursued litigation.  However, when Verizon used the patents to attack Cablevision, ActiveVideo’s largest U.S. customer, it was necessary to take legal action. 

“Not only was Verizon treating us poorly, but the company was attacking our customers,” stated Miller.

Since the judge ruled in favor of ActiveVideo, its legal team has plans to pursue an injunction that would force Verizon to change its FiOS technology or shut it down altogether.  Regardless of its recent victory in patent court, winning the injunction might be difficult for ActiveVideo, since courts have enacted stricter rules in recent years for obtaining patent injunctions.  Much more argument and evidence will be required from ActiveVideo before a judge would consider the injunction.

Regardless of the $115 million verdict, the largest ever in a patent case in the Eastern District of Virginia, ActiveVideo was not victorious in all aspects of the case.  The jury did not agree with ActiveVideo’s argument that Verizon willfully infringed on the patents and it actually sided with Verizon’s counter-argument that ActiveVideo had infringed on two Verizon patents.  Damages for the infringement on Verizon patents were only estimated to be $16,000.

Verizon is no stranger to high stakes patent litigation.  In 2006, Verizon filed suit against Vonage for VoIP patents and was awarded damages of $120 million.  The decision was later rebuked when Verizon used some of those same patents to go after Cox Communications in 2008.