Acacia Sues 15 More Cable Ops

Acacia Research Corp. last week said it sued 15 additional cable operators for alleged patent infringement, and added Mediacom Communications Corp.’s Mediacom LLC subsidiary to a suit that it has pending in Northern California.

Acacia, which has patents used for video-on-demand programming and in technology for transmitting analog channels over a digital network, recently signed license deals with small operators Seren Innovations Inc. in Minneapolis; B&C Cablevision in Florida; BoulderRidge Cable TV in Colorado; and Central Valley Cable TV in California.

On Sept. 13, Acacia said it sued another 15 small operators in Arizona, Minnesota and Ohio. They are Cable One Inc., US Cable Corp., Wide Open West, Armstrong Group, Arvig Communication Systems, Block Communications Inc., Cable America Corp., Cable System Services Inc., Cannon Valley Communications Inc., East Cleveland Cable TV and Communications, Loretel Cablevision, Massillon Communications Inc., San Carlos Cablevision, Savage Communications Inc. and Sjoberg’s Cablevision Inc.

Acaia also has suits pending against Cox Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Charter Communications Inc., EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc.

Officials at Cable One and Mediacom declined to comment on the suit.

Acacia spokesman Rob Stewart didn’t return phone calls last week. In a prepared statement, Acacia CEO Paul Ryan said his company has been successful with licensing its technology to some companies, but that it won’t hesitate to sue those firms that don’t agree to pay up.

“Although we have recently licensed four cable-TV companies and are making progress in licensing discussions with several other cable companies, it may be necessary to bring lawsuits from time to time to enforce our intellectual property,” Ryan said.