Charter sues Verizon over FiOS patent violations

Cable company Charter has squared off against Verizon, saying FiOS infringes upon four patents it holds.

Charter's patents cover video-on-demand services, pricing for subscription-on-demand services, and a pair of patents covering data transmission. Ars Technica notes Charter hasn't sued other cable providers over the patents and says the real reason behind the action is that the cable company feels very threatened by the high-speed and bundled offerings of FiOS; Charter offers 16 Mbps broadband currently to Verizon's 50 Mbps FiOS, and Verizon also has the edge in HD programming.

With over $21 billion in debt on its books, Charter is in no financial position to upgrade its physical plant to support DOCSIS 3.0 to compete against FiOS. Verizon's lawyers say the lawsuit is bogus and will fight it.

For more:
- Ars Technica nearly summarizes the Charter/Verizon patent tiff. Article.

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