ViXS Systems files complaint against Entropic

April 21, 2014 11.51 Europe/London By Robert Briel

judgement hammerViXS Systems and ViXS USA have filed a complaint in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against Entropic Communications and several of its customers and importers.

The complaint alleges that these companies have engaged in unfair trade practices by the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of certain set-top boxes (STB’s), gateways, bridges, switches, and adapters and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of United States Patent Nos. 7,301,900, 7,099,951, 7,200,855, and 7,406,598.

The ITC complaint seeks to stop the importation into the US and sale after importation of a range of products, all of which include Entropic Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) chips or Entropic System-on-Chips (SoC’s). For example, the ITC complaint lists several DirecTV STB’s that include Entropic MoCA chips. In addition to the ITC action, ViXS will seek damages in federal court through a separate filing.

ViXS’ ITC complaint was filed after Entropic had sued ViXS in May 2013 the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego for infringement of two Entropic patents. In Entropic’s lawsuit, Entropic states that its patents are essential to the MoCA standards and yet accuses ViXS’ MoCA chips of patent infringement asking for unspecified relief.

The Entrpic complaint, filed last May, alleges that ViXS’s products infringe upon two of Entropic’s patents: US Patent No. 7,295,518, issued on November 13, 2007, and US Patent No. 7,889,759 issued on February 15, 2011.

“We believe ViXS is infringing upon two of our core home networking patents, and our action today is a strategic step to protect our intellectual property,” said Lance Bridges, SVP and general counsel, Entropic, at the time.

In that same case, ViXS filed counterclaims against Entropic, including claims for breach of contract, interference with business relations, and unfair competition. These counterclaims were based in part on Entropic’s filing of its San Diego suit while ViXS was in the midst of an initial public offering.

“We filed our complaint with the US International Trade Commission to stop Entropic from continuing to use our proprietary technology,” said Sally Daub, ViXS president and CEO.

“We now look forward to presenting our case to the Commission and plan to vigorously pursue the substantial remedies the Commission may issue.”