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Westinghouse Settles Sony’s DTV Suit

San Diego, Calif. – Westinghouse Digital Electronics (WDE) last week completed a settlement of a patent infringement suit brought by Sony over Westinghouse Digital’s alleged use of Sony digital TV technologies for closed captioning and HDCP for HDMI applications, Sony said Monday.

A Consent Judgment was ordered by the Federal District Court for the Central District of California on March 4, 2009, dismissing the complaint filed against WDE. Through the settlement, a spokesman for Sony said WDE is now a licensee under Sony’s patents related to digital color television and computer monitors.

Sony said it executed license agreements with Westinghouse Digital on Feb. 25, 2009, whereby “WDE agreed to a Consent Judgment acknowledging its infringement of Sony’s patents and affirming that Sony’s asserted patents to be valid and enforceable.”

Sony originally filed its complaint against WDE in June 2008, demanding compensation for damages for infringement of Sony’s patents related to Closed Captioning, HDMI, onscreen displays, and other technologies used in products such as TVs and computer display monitors.

Sony said it has also sued Vizio for allegedly infringing the same patents, “and is demanding compensation for damages. Going forward Sony intends to continue proactively implementing its licensing initiatives.”

Representatives from Westinghouse Digital declined comment on the issue. Representatives with Vizio had not returned requests for comment as this was posted.

Both companies are involved in a coalition called CUT FATT – which stands for the Coalition United to Terminate Financial Abuses of the Television Transition – asking the FCC to intercede to prevent some ATSC-patent holders from imposing costly licensing terms on technologies necessary to produce affordable ATSC-compliant TV receivers in the United States.