Gemstar Files Patent-Infringement Suit Against TiVo

Last week, Gemstar International Group announced that its subsidiary, StarSight Telecast, had filed a patent-infringement suit against TiVo in Federal District Court, Northern District of California. According to Gemstar, the suit claims "that TiVo willfully infringed certain Gemstar intellectual property by virtue of TiVo's deployment, marketing, offers to sell, and sale of personalized video recorder devices containing an unlicensed interactive program guide." Gemstar, which markets VCR Plus+, says it is seeking an injunction and monetary damages.

Stephen A. Weiswasser, general counsel and executive vice president for Gemstar, says that "while Gemstar keeps an open licensing policy and is ready to customize licensing terms to accommodate licensee needs, Gemstar is equally ready to vigorously enforce its intellectual property rights. Gemstar will diligently prosecute infringers of its patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property, and will seek redress to the fullest extent of the law."

TiVo, along with rival RePlay, are marketing hard-disk-based video recorders with program-guide technologies (see previous story). This has put them at odds with Gemstar, whose electronic program guide has been built into a number of new televisions, VCRs, and TV/VCR combination units, direct-broadcast satellite receivers, digital and advanced analog cable set-top boxes, PCTV and other Internet devices, and computer operating systems such as Windows 98.