Rovi Loses PVR Patent Suit Against Virgin Media

The UK’s Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that strips TV EPG maker Gemstar, now part of Rovi, of three patents.

Gemstar in 2008 filed against UK cable company Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED), claiming its set-top box infringed its three patents concerning screen navigation, favourite lists and programme recording. A judge had ruled all three patents invalid, one because Toshiba already held such a patent. Gemstar appealed in respect of the latter two.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Lord Justice Jacobs rejected the appeal, saying one of Gemstar’s arguments “makes no technical sense”, “The judge was plainly right.”

Gemstar was acquired by Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN), later renamed Rovi, later in 2008.

The Virgin Media EPG system which Gemstar had fought against is a legacy of Virgin Media’s ntl and Telewest origins, upgraded with an in-built PVR and badged “V+”. It now aims to move away from that system by rolling out TiVo.