April 10, 2012 / 10:40 PM / 6 years ago

WiLAN: U.S. patent office upholds V-chip claims

TORONTO (Reuters) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has confirmed the validity of WiLAN Inc’s patent for V-chip technology, which enables objectionable television content to be blocked, the Canadian company said on Tuesday.

WiLAN said the patent office, in addition to validating its existing claims in patent number 5,828,402, also allowed the addition of 30 more claims.

“This ruling confirms the validity of our fundamental 402 or V-Chip Patent, and enables our licensing activity to continue with the unlicensed portion of the market, which is significant,” WiLAN’s Chief Executive Jim Skippen said in a statement.

A U.S. judge last month dismissed a lawsuit in which WiLAN accused LG Electronics Inc of infringing the patent.

WiLAN, which is based in Ottawa and specializes in patent licensing and enforcement, said its V-chip technology was invented in 1991 by Tim Collings, then a professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, to allow users of TV receivers to filter out programs.

All televisions with picture screens 13 inches or larger and manufactured for the U.S. market have since 2000 been required to carry the technology.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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