A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which Canada's Wi-Lan Inc accused LG Electronics Inc of infringing a patent for V-chip technology, which lets parents block television content they consider inappropriate. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan also dismissed counterclaims raised by Seoul-based LG including trademark infringement, and closed the case, which Ottawa-based Wi-Lan had brought in January 2010. In dismissing the patent claim, Kaplan followed the recommendation of a federal magistrate judge, Andrew Peck, who had last August recommended dismissal. Kaplan agreed with Peck that “no reasonable jury” could find infringement.
In the clear
Lawyers for both companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Shares of Wi-Lan closed up 3.7 percent in Toronto, but gave up some earlier gains following the ruling. Wi-Lan said its V-chip technology was invented in 1991 by Tim Collings, then a professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, to allow users of digital TV receivers to filter out programs. All televisions with picture screens 13 inches (33 cm) or larger and manufactured for the U.S. market have since 2000 been required to carry the technology.
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