TS News - Writs Flying From PMC

TELE-satellit News, 18 December 1996

Writs Flying From PMC
  WASHINGTON, DC, USA, 96/12/18 (TS) -- Personalized Media Communications
says the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has commenced an
investigation of DirecTV, United States Satellite Broadcasting, Thomson
Consumer Electronics, Hughes Network Systems, Hitachi Home Electronics,
Toshiba America Consumer Products, and Matsushita Electric Corporation of
America, for violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, in the
importation, sale for importation, and sale in the United States after
importation, of DSS receivers that infringe a U.S. patent owned by PMC.

  If the ITC supports PMC's claim, the Commission could issue a permanent
exclusion order banning importation into the US of the accused receivers
and a cease and desist order directed to all five named DSS manufacturers.
In addition, the Commission could issue a permanent cease and desist order
to DirecTV and USSB to cease and desist from providing signals to
unlawfully imported receivers, according to PMC.

  PMC filed a complaint on November 13, 1996, stating that the five DSS
receiver makers are "unlawfully importing receivers that infringe one of
PMC's patents and that DirecTV and USSB are broadcasting Direct Broadcast
Signals (DBS) which aids in the infringement by the DSS receiver
manufacturers." PMC said it has offered to license its patents to the
companies but they declined the offer.

  In a further set of lawsuits, PMC said it filed a lawsuit charging patent
infringement against DirecTV, USSB and the five named DSS manufacturers in
the United States District Court for the Northern District California San
Jose Division.

  The company said its patent, No. 5,335,277, covers "new technology that
allows end-users to customize the processing of a broadcast signal to exert
greater control over programming content displayed on a television. This is
achieved by the viewer directing the transmission of broadcast
communications signals, data and processing instructions with private data
resident in the user's personal computer or receiver, thereby turning the
broadcast signal into a "personalized media" stream."

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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