Thursday, August 29, 2013

Microsoft, Guardian Media End Patent Dispute

Case Filed: Jun 11, 2013

Case Closed: Aug 26, 2013

Court: Texas Eastern District Court

Judge: Leonard Davis

Case Summary:
Guardian Media filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft alleging violation of 2 patents for a digital classification control system. The patents involved in the suit were:

·        US4930158, entitled Selective video playing system
·        US4930160, entitled Automatic censorship of video programs

Both the patents were issued on May 29, 1990 and expired[i] by Sep 02, 2007 and were last assigned[ii] to Guardian Media (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The company claims that its patents cover technology that give parents control over what their children watch on digital video recorders, personal computers and other devices. The complaint argued that Microsoft infringed the patents by manufacturing products/services with parental control features as claimed in the ‘158 and ‘160 patents and cited Xbox 360 with the Xbox Live Marketplace, Xbox 360 with Windows Media Extender/Windows Media Center and/or computers running Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 with the Xbox 360 HD DVD Player, Windows Media Center and/or computers running Windows Media Center as accused products or services. Guardian Media sought the Court for relief including a judgment that one or both of the patents-in-suit have been infringed, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, as well as damages for willful infringement.

The parties have settled the case and reached an agreement. Upon their requests for dismissal, the Court ordered Dismissal with Prejudice of all claims and counterclaims subject to the terms of settlement. Further details of the settlement were not disclosed. Each party will bear their own costs and attorneys' fees.

See 6:13-cv-00482 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded. 

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