Gemstar-TV Guide Sues Virgin Media


Gemstar-TV Guide International and two of its subsidiaries, StarSight Telecast and United Video Properties, have filed a patent-infringement lawsuit in the United Kingdom against Virgin Media Limited and Virgin Media Payments Limited, officials said Thursday.

In the litigation, Gemstar and its subsidiaries allege that Virgin Media, a major cable operator in Britain, is infringing on three of Gemstar’s European patents. Gemstar is making claims related to techniques for providing certain interactive program guides, and for handling recordings from IPGs.

Gemstar-TV Guide and its related companies have one of the world’s most extensive patent portfolios directed to IPGs, including over 200 issued patents and pending applications covering the United Kingdom.   

“We have worked diligently to license Virgin Media for their distribution of various set-top boxes that contain IPGs covered by our patents, but negotiations did not lead to a resolution,” Samir Armaly, executive vice president of intellectual property and licensing for Gemstar-TV Guide, said in a statement.

“The substantial value of our European patent portfolio has been recognized by leading service providers as well as leading consumer electronics manufacturers in the U.K. and throughout Europe,” he said. “While we would have preferred to reach a commercial solution with Virgin Media, we ultimately have a responsibility to our shareholders, licensees, and other stakeholders to protect the value of our intellectual property.”