Vendor VoD spat: Arris files patent-infringement suit against Harmonic

While cable television is known as a clubby industry with backroom politics and one-for-all cooperation, that convivial atmosphere doesn't extend down to the competitive world of vendors where those guys are as cutthroat as any pirates that ever sailed the Caribbean.

The latest vendor battleground is video-on-demand, an increasingly popular service that promises big things for the right equipment supplier. It's an area where Arris believes Harmonic has infringed on four of its patents and has taken the matter to federal court in Atlanta to be resolved.

"Arris has spent considerable time, effort and resources developing and promoting its products," the company claimed in the complaint, noting that Harmonic has known since Dec. 15 about the patents and infringement. An Arris spokesman added little more than to say the company has "been in communication" with Harmonic. A Harmonic spokeswoman said the company did not comment on legal matters. Should make for some interesting booth placements at the Cable Show.

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