Bloomberg News

Rovi Sues Hulu Over Patents for Interactive TV Functions

July 29, 2011

(Updates with Hulu response in fourth paragraph.)

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Rovi Corp., a provider of digital home-entertainment products, sued online video service Hulu LLC alleging infringement of patents for interactive television functions and seeking unspecified damages.

Rovi, formerly known as Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., contends that Los Angeles-based Hulu is wrongly using protected technology for electronic programming guides, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Rovi invests significant resources” in development of its guides and related inventions for digital video streaming technologies, the Santa Clara, California-based company said in court papers.

Elisa Schreiber, a Hulu spokeswoman, declined to comment on the suit. Hulu, which has put itself up for sale, is co-owned by Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast Corp.

Rovi was formed when Macrovision Corp. acquired Gemstar-TV Guide in 2008, according to the complaint. Rovi reported $541.5 million in sales last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

The company “leads the digital entertainment industry in the development and improved functionality of guidance systems for TVs, recorders, set-top boxes and other devices,” according to the complaint.

Rovi fell $1.26, or 2.3 percent, to $53.48 at 11:03 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares declined 12 percent this year before today.

The case is Rovi Corp. v. Hulu LLC, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patents, click: 6,396,546; 7,103,906; and 7,769,775.

--With assistance from Dawn McCarty in Wilmington. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Stephen Farr

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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