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Judge overturns $469M verdict against Dish Network over streaming patents


(Reuters) — A Utah federal judge on Tuesday overturned a jury’s verdict that Dish Network LLC must pay $469 million to parental-control technology maker ClearPlay Inc. for infringing two patents related to filtering material from streaming video.

U.S. District Judge David Nuffer reversed the jury’s finding that Dish’s AutoHop commercial-skipping feature violated ClearPlay’s patent rights less than two weeks after the March 10 verdict, according to the court’s docket.

A Dish spokesperson said the company “has stood firm in its belief that it did not infringe ClearPlay’s patents, and is gratified by the Court's ruling.” Representatives for ClearPlay did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.

Salt Lake City-based ClearPlay’s technology lets users filter out adult content like sex, violence and drug use from DVDs and streaming video.

It sued Dish in 2014, alleging that technology used in Dish’s Hopper set-top boxes to cut commercials from DVR content violates its patents for a “method of filtering multimedia content without altering the underlying video.”

Dish said in a March 3 filing that its technology works differently from the technology in ClearPlay’s patents and that no reasonable jury could find infringement.

Judge Nuffer agreed with Dish and overturned the verdict on Tuesday.