Vizio Continues TV Patent Suit Against Funai

IRVINE, CALIF.: Vizio, the privately held flat-panel HDTV maker in Southern California, said it filed a patent infringement lawsuit this week against Funai. Vizeo said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that Osaka, Japan-based Funai infringes “numerous Vizio patents in its manufacturing, importation and distribution of high-definition televisions.” Vizio said it asked the court to issue an injunction prohibiting Funai from importing and selling “infringing” HDTV sets, and for “millions” in damages for past infringing sales.

The suit names Funai Electric Co. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Funai Corp. The company manufactures television sets under several brand names, including Philips, Magnavox, Emerson, Sylvania and Symphonic.

Vizio filed suit against Funai earlier this year for violating antitrust laws. Vizio said Feb. 13 that it filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging Funai “unlawfully restrained trade and monopolized the market for the licensing of technology used to interpret and retrieve information from a digital television broadcast signal as well as the market for digital television sets and receivers.”

Last month, Funai won a ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission ordering Vizio to post a $2.50 bond per imported TV set. EndgadgetHD reported that Vizio nonetheless continued shipping HD sets par usual. – Deborah D. McAdams