updated 10:20 am EDT, Thu July 9, 2009
VIZIO Clears Patent Woes
VIZIO this morning earned a reprieve from US Customs that cleared its current TV line of possible patent infringements that might have blocked their sale in the US. The government agency made the ruling four months after the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected a patent from Japanese company Funai, which had hoped to use the patent to block US-based VIZIO's sets from reaching stores. Funai is expected to appeal, though VIZIO equally expects to win.
The American firm has long accused Funai of deliberately trying to block competition and has sued its rival for allegedly violating antitrust law as well as patent infringement of its own. Funai makes TVs on behalf of budget TV brands like Magnavox and Sylvania and would benefit from VIZIO being forced out as it competes in the same price territory.