21
Feb
By Eric Schweibenz
On February 13 and February 14, 2013, ALJ David P. Shaw issued Order No. 29 and the public version of Order No. 26 (dated February 7, 2013), respectively, in Certain Products Containing Interactive Program Guide And Parental Control Technology (Inv. No. 337-TA-845).

According to Order. No. 26, Complainants Rovi Corporation, Rovi Guides, Inc., Rovi Technologies Corporation, Starsight Telecast, Inc., United Video Properties, Inc., and Index Systems, Inc. (collectively, “Rovi”) filed a motion requesting an order permitting one of Rovi’s expert witnesses, Dr. Shamos, to provide his testimony on February 13, 14, or 15.  Rovi argued that the schedule change was necessary because “Dr. Shamos has an unchangeable academic appointment at the University of Hong Kong to teach an Electronic Payment Systems course on a schedule that is interleaved with many other courses.”  Rovi asserted that permitting Dr. Shamos to testify on February 13, 14, or 15 was a reasonable request and did not prejudice respondents Netflix, Inc.; Roku, Inc.; LG Electronics, Inc.; and LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, “Respondents”).

In opposition, Respondents argued that permitting Dr. Shamos to testify ahead of schedule was the “opposite of reasonable” and prejudicial to all Respondents.  In further support that Rovi’s request was unreasonable, Respondents asserted that Dr. Shamos’s schedule was set more than six months ago.

ALJ Shaw noted that he was unavailable during the dates enumerated in Rovi’s motion because he will be presiding over another investigation from February 12–22, 2013.  Accordingly, ALJ Shaw denied Rovi’s motion.

According to Order. No. 29, Rovi filed a motion requesting an order permitting Dr. Shamos to present testimony at the evidentiary hearing (currently scheduled for March 5 - 11, 2013) via videoconference.  Rovi argued that the problems asserted by Respondents and ALJ Shaw would be alleviated under Rovi’s current request.  Rovi argued that permitting Dr. Shamos to present testimony via videoconference would, in fact, disadvantage Rovi because their expert would have to prepare to testify from half-way around the world.

In opposition, Respondents argued that “[t]here is no substitute for live cross-examination.”  Respondents averred that “[v]ideoconference equipment is notoriously fickle” and Rovi cannot guarantee that the video and audio feed will be reliable throughout Dr. Shamos’s testimony.  Further, Respondents argued that viewing exhibits via videoconference will pose logistical problems.

ALJ Shaw determined that permitting Dr. Shamos to testify via videoconference would impose unnecessary uncertainty and create burdensome logistical issues.  ALJ Shaw noted that Dr. Shamos is an important expert witness and is expected to provide extensive testimony.  Accordingly, ALJ Shaw denied Rovi’s motion.
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