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ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. v. Verizon Communications, Inc.

694 F.3d 1312, 104 U.S.P.Q.2d 1241 (2012)

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ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. v. Verizon Communications, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

694 F.3d 1312, 104 U.S.P.Q.2d 1241 (2012)

Facts

ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. (ActiveVideo) sued Verizon Communications, Inc. (Verizon) (plaintiff) in federal court for infringing three patents. The jury found that the video on demand (VoD) feature of Verizon’s FiOS-TV system infringed the ActiveVideo patents. After trial, ActiveVideo sought a permanent injunction prohibiting Verizon from future infringement. The district court found that all four permanent-injunction factors were satisfied and granted the permanent injunction. First, the district court determined that Verizon’s infringement caused irreparable harm because it led to a loss of market share for CableVision, a licensee of the ActiveVideo patents. CableVision paid ActiveVideo a fee per subscriber. The court also based its finding of irreparable harm on an assertion that Verizon’s infringement caused an unquantifiable loss of business opportunities and damaged ActiveVideo’s brand recognition. This assertion was not supported by evidence. Second, the court held that remedies such as monetary damages would not sufficiently compensate for the lost business opportunities it believed Verizon’s infringement caused, weighing this factor in favor of granting the injunction. Third, the court found that both ActiveVideo and Verizon would suffer hardships, but the balance tilted in ActiveVideo’s favor because ActiveVideo was a small business that would be seriously harmed if the injunction were denied. However, the court did not explain its rationale for this finding. Fourth, the district court found that the public’s interest in receiving VoD services from Verizon was outweighed by the public interest in a patentee’s right to exclude, and therefore the public interest was not disserved by granting the injunction. Verizon appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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