WhereverTV Sues Comcast Over Patent: OTT TV Dispute

Comcast Over Patent

Lawsuit: WhereverTV vs. Comcast in Patent Infringement

In August, WhereverTV, a Stronghold Myers, FL-based OTT Web TV supplier, filed a patent infringement suit against Comcast, a Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant. The lawsuit, centered around U.S. Patent No. 8656431 titled “Global Interactive Program Guide Application and Device,” challenges Comcast’s use of Xfinity-branded products allegedly infringing on WhereverTV’s patent.

Patent Overview

The ‘431 patent introduces a content manager device facilitating access to video content from various operators through an Interactive Program Guide (IPG) application. It allows users to configure listings from MSOs and non-MSOs, enabling access to digital entertainment services globally.

Alleged Infringement

WhereverTV accuses Comcast and its subsidiaries of infringing upon claim 1 of the ‘431 patent through the Xfinity X1 Platform. This platform integrates an IPG accessible via multiple devices and offers search results from diverse content sources, including live TV, on-demand programs, DVR, Netflix, YouTube, and more.

Jurisdiction and Venue

The lawsuit was filed in the Central District of Florida, a region increasingly preferred by patent infringement plaintiffs. Despite lacking specific patent case regulations, this district ranks high in plaintiff success rate and boasts a relatively swift time-to-trial, attracting litigants seeking prompt resolution.

Legal Maneuvers

Comcast responded by challenging the jurisdictional basis, citing the TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands precedent. While Comcast contends it lacks a substantial presence in Florida, subsidiaries registered and operating in the state might warrant their inclusion in the suit. However, the argument doesn’t directly apply to the parent company.

Potential Outcomes

Though the motion might remove Comcast from this suit, WhereverTV could refile the case in Pennsylvania. The defendants’ legal strategy primarily focuses on dismissing the case for failure to state a claim, indicating a potential weakness in the venue argument.

This legal battle raises questions about jurisdictional boundaries and the interpretation of patent law, highlighting the complexities within patent infringement litigation.

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