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Widevine Sues Verimatrix Over Content-Crypto Patent

Video-encryption vendor Widevine Technologies filed a patent-infringement lawsuit Wednesday against Verimatrix, alleging that Verimatrix violated one of its patents for selectively encrypting portions of data sent over a network.

Widevine said it filed the federal lawsuit after attempting to license its intellectual property to Verimatrix. Earlier this year, Widevine said it was seeking licensing deals for its patent portfolio.

Verimatrix spokeswoman Kelly Foster said the company was reviewing the suit. “Verimatrix feels the claim is without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves against the lawsuit,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

Widevine owns U.S. Patent No. 7,165,175, which describes methods and systems for selectively encrypting different portions of data sent over a network. According to Widevine’s lawsuit, the Verimatrix Content Authority System infringes the patent.

Widevine said it has been issued eight patents to date, and it has about 45 domestic and international patents pending.

“Widevine’s intellectual property is one of our core assets and represents the work product of our engineers and millions of dollars of research and development,” Widevine general counsel Mani Aliabadi said in a prepared statement. “When our intellectual property is taken, without our permission or through unauthorized licensing, we have no option but to protect it through every means available to us.”

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Widevine will be represented by Darby & Darby, a law firm specializing in intellectual-property rights.

Investors in privately held Widevine include Cisco Systems, Charter Ventures and Telus.