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Rovi sues Comcast for patent infringement

MUMBAI: Rovi has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against US cable and entertainment major Comcast in the eastern district of Texas, Marshall Division.

“Rovi has filed legal action against Comcast. For over a decade, Comcast built its business using Rovi’s patented technology, which it licensed for a fixed term. Comcast’s decision to continue using Rovi’s pioneering technology as an unlicensed infringer is simply intolerable. After numerous attempts at negotiations, Rovi was left with no choice but to defend its intellectual property from unlicensed use. Rovi has taken this action to protect not only its patent portfolio, but also its stakeholders and licensees. While we are disappointed that Comcast remains unlicensed, we believe it needs a license to offer many of its personalised discovery features to its customers,” said Rovi president, CEO Tom Carson.

In its filings Rovi asserts infringement by Comcast, together with its set-top box suppliers, of 14 US patents that together deliver the most important features to Comcast customers. These features include, for example, the way that Comcast implements remote recording, AnyRoom® DVR and X1 search. Rovi seeks both an injunction barring continued infringement and damages to compensate it for the harm inflicted by that infringement.

Rovi said that over the past quarter century, it has invested over a billion dollars in research and development for its products and intellectual property to create one of the world’s largest media and entertainment patent portfolios consisting of more than 5,000 issued patents and pending applications worldwide. Today, Rovi’s intellectual property is broadly licensed throughout the North American pay TV industry and by eight of the top 10 US service providers, including the world’s largest pay TV provider, AT&T, in addition to Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications. At the end of 2015, more than 180 million pay TV subscribers around the world relied on the entertainment discovery experiences enabled by Rovi’s intellectual property.

Rovi has not changed its financial estimates for 2016, which were issued on 11 February 2016, and anticipated possible litigation with Comcast. Rovi’s estimates planned for legal expenses and excluded any licensing or ad revenues from Comcast after 31 March 2016.