U.S. District Court rejects Funai request to delay antitrust lawsuit
June 6, 2009
Irvine, CA – June 6, 2009 -- VIZIO, America's #1 HDTV and Consumer Electronics Company, announced today that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has denied attempts by Funai Electric Company, Ltd. to delay the prompt resolution of VIZIO's claims that Funai is unlawfully restraining trade, misusing its patent rights, and monopolizing the marketplace for digital television technology.
In its lawsuit, which was filed in February 2009, VIZIO alleges that Funai unlawfully acquired the rights to U.S. patent No. 6,115,074 (the "'074 patent"), which is subject to a standards setting organization overseeing digital television manufacturers, and has since unlawfully and unfairly discriminated against VIZIO in the licensing and enforcement of the '074 patent, to the detriment of trade and commerce. VIZIO's suit alleges that, in so doing, Funai has violated the federal Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, and numerous provisions of California's unfair competition and antitrust law. In May 2009, Funai sought to delay the timely adjudication of these claims by moving to consolidate and stay this action with several other patent cases brought by Funai in the same court but which have been stayed. Today, the presiding district court judge denied Funai's motion.
Specifically, the judge held that a consolidation of VIZIO's antitrust claims with the already-stayed patent claims "is not appropriate at this time" and that the antitrust claims should not be "stalled" by Funai. Instead, the judge ruled that VIZIO's antitrust claims should move forward without delay.
"VIZIO, as America's HDTV Company, has been at the forefront of making high quality flat panel TVs more affordable for Americans. We are pleased that the court recognized the importance of our antitrust claims and denied Funai's attempt to delay our efforts to prove our case. We cannot allow a foreign competitor to misuse its patent and monopolize the marketplace, or to divert us from our mission to bring affordable, high quality HDTVs to Americans," stated Laynie Newsome, VIZIO Co-Founder and VP Sales & Marketing Communications.
VIZIO, Inc., "Where Vision Meets Value," headquartered in Irvine, California, is America’s HDTV Company and Consumer Electronics Company. In 2007, VIZIO skyrocketed to the top by becoming the #1 selling brand of flat panel HDTVs in North America and became the first American brand in over a decade to lead major categories in U.S. TV sales. Since 2007 VIZIO HDTV shipments remain in the TOP ranks in the U.S. and are again #1 in Q1, 2009 with over 20% market share. VIZIO is committed to bringing feature-rich flat panel televisions to market at a value through practical innovation. VIZIO offers a broad range of award winning Plasma and LCD HDTVs including the new XVT series. VIZIO’s products are found at Costco Wholesale, Sam's Club, Sears, Walmart, Target, BJ's Wholesale, and other retailers nationwide along with authorized online partners. VIZIO has won numerous awards including a #1 ranking in the Inc. 500 for Top Companies in Computers and Electronics, Good Housekeeping's Best Big-Screens, CNET's Top 10 Holiday Gifts and PC World's Best Buy among others. For more information, please call 888-VIZIOCE or visit on the web at www.VIZIO.com.
The V, VIZIO, XVT, TruLED, 240Hz SPS, Thin Line, Smooth Motion, JAVA, Where Vision Meets Value names, phrase and symbols are trademarks or registered trademarks of VIZIO, Inc. All other trademarks may be the property of their respective holders.
Source: VIZIO, Inc.
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Case #: 8:09-cv-174
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