18 April 2017
Washington DC
Reporter: Mark Dugdale

USITC to investigate set-top boxes


The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched an investigation into set-top boxes after Sony filed a complaint.

Its investigation will focus on set-top boxes supplied to Comcast under its Xfinity brand and DIRECTV for its Genie products.

Sony claimed in March that imports of digital cable and satellite products, set-top boxes, gateways and components infringed its patents, and wants them to be blocked.

The products under investigation were imported into the country by US-based telecommunications company ARRIS and Pace, a UK-based provider of IPTV technology.

The USITC’s investigation, which was instituted on 12 April, comes amid a severe crackdown on IPTV set-top boxes and other, newer means of intellectual property infringement.

Earlier in April, EU law enforcement agency Europol coordinated the dismantling of a criminal network specialised in the illegal distribution of pay TV channels through IPTV technology across Europe.

Amazon, meanwhile, has added streaming media players to its seller guidelines, reminding users of its marketplace that “products offered for sale on Amazon should not promote, suggest the facilitation of, or actively enable the infringement of or unauthorised access to digital media or other protected content”.

The Premier League is also getting in on the act, seeking and obtaining an order in the UK that compels ISPs to block certain servers until the conclusion of the current season on 22 May.

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