Comcast Can’t Get X1 Patent Suit Tossed by Florida Judge

A federal judge in Florida has refused to dismiss an OTT company’s complaint that Comcast’s X1 video service infringes on a patent covering interactive programming guides.

Fort Myers, Florida-based WhereverTV Broadcasting Corp. filed suit against Comcast in August, alleging violation of U.S. Patent No. 8656431, titled “Global Interactive Application and Device.” Legal news site Law 360 reported the court’s decision this week not to toss the case.

The case, which is still in the early innings, will now move onto the discovery phase. 

“We disagree with, but respect, the court’s ruling," a Comcast rep told MCN. "It has no impact on our ability to continue offering our innovative X1 platform and streaming services to our customers, and we look forward to winning the case on the merits.”

WhereverTV is a virtual MVPD operator offering live-streamed bundles of second-tier programming networks, starting at $14.99 for a month-to-month plan.

In its lawsuit, WhereverTV accuses Comcast and a trio of subsidiary corporations of infringing on patent ‘431 through the interactive program guide in the X1 video operating system. Specifically, the suit says features that allow the X1 program guide to be controlled via multiple devices including televisions, computers or smartphones violate the patent.

Notably, WhereverTV filed its complaint in the Middle District of Florida, a court reputed to be particularly friendly to IP litigators.

“The district is highly ranked in some very important categories for plaintiffs who want to get a trial resolution as soon as possible as well as a high success rate,” said Stephen Leahu, an attorney at Brinks Gilson & Lione, told IPWatchDog last summer when the suit was filed.

Comcast is also engaged in a much broader battle with TiVo, which covers a range of X1 features and technologies, and spans multiple legal jurisdictions.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!