Bell IPTV patent case complicated by lawyer issues

by Andrew Roach on May 31, 2013

IPTV is becoming one of the fastest growing trends in the tech world and that has made it a particularly competitive market with major telecom provider such as Bell and Rogers looking to get a slice of the action.

However, it has not been plain sailing for the major firms with Bell currently embroiled in a patent lawsuit with several firms over the use of IPTV technology.

The case has taken an interesting twist with Bell challenging the use of lawyer firm Bereskin and Parr to fight for MediaTube due to a conflict of interest.

MediaTube are just one of several small firms who are suing Bell for illegally infringing several different patents in their IPTV services.

One of the major concerns Bell has with their opposition is the fact that one of the main challenging lawyers has previously worked with BCE on past cases.

Bell’s association with Bereskin & Parr goes back as far as 2004 when the company worked with media firm GlobeMedia who are also owned by the telcos parent firm, BCE.

In a report submitted to the federal court in Toronto, Bell made their feelings clear by stating that “The Plaintiff’s counsel, Bereskin & Parr LLP, are in a conflict of interest and must be removed as solicitor of record for MediaTube Corp.”

The claims made by Bell have been dismissed by MediaTube and fellow accusers NorthVu who believe that the move is just another way to stall the case from reaching the national courts.

With both firms looking to get the case heard and settled within two years, there has been an extremely strong reaction to Bell’s latest move. When defending the motion, the plaintiffs responded to Bell’s claims by saying “there is no reason to delay the filing of the defence until after disposition of the motion to disqualify B&P. These are mutually exclusive issues.”

The issues surrounding Bell’s IPTV, also known as Fibe TV, has been brewing over several years with both NorthVu and MediaTube having helped developed the initial service before creating their own separate platforms.

With Fibe TV being expanded by BCE, it’s unlikely that the issue will die down anytime soon and it could become a major hindrance for Bell’s attempts to become a major player in the IPTV battle.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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