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Sony, Vizio Reach DTV Patent Agreements

Irvine, Calif. – In yet another twist to the
long-running patent battles between Vizio
and a number of TV makers, Vizio revealed Wednesday that both Sony and Vizio
are now licensees under each other’s TV patent portfolios.

The agreements settle an intellectual property lawsuit filed
by Sony a year ago, in which Sony charged Vizio with violations of 14
television patents.

The agreements are also the next in a long-line of legal
challenges against Vizio, including Funai’s attempts to stop the importation of
Vizio products.

Funai, which had acquired certain DTV patents from RCA, sued
Vizio and several Asian-based TV makers for patent infringement on elements of
ATSC tuning technology.

Fighting back, Vizio then acquired the rights to certain
Motorola digital cable TV receiving patents and sued Funai while pursuing
agreements from other TV markers – including Sony
– that were not previously settled.

In a statement on the action Vizio said: “We are pleased with
the result of our patent licensing efforts. It further demonstrates the
technical strength and value of Vizio’s patent portfolio,” said Rob Brinkman, Vizio’s
operations and administration VP.

Vizio said it continues to expand its intellectual property
including the development of new technologies that will be implemented in Vizio’s
products shipping later this year and beyond.

“Having successfully resolved the disputes, we shall
continue to aggressively protect our rights and actively expand Vizio’s
licensing program. As an owner of patent rights and as a licensee of legitimate
patent right held by others, Vizio respects intellectual property and we expect
our competitors to do the same,” Brinkman added.

In a statement issued Thursday Sony said: “In October
2008, Sony filed litigation against Vizio in the Federal District Court for the Central
District of California for infringement of 14 of Sony’s patents related to
color televisions and PC monitors. The parties have now settled all current
patent litigation between them, with Vizio becoming a paying licensee under
Sony’s patents for color televisions and PC monitors.

under the settlement, during its term, Sony will be licensed under any patents
that Vizio purchased this year related to color televisions, as well as any
they may own in the future that are related to color televisions or PC monitors,” the statement concluded.