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Rovi claims Ziggo infringes three of its patents
By Robert Briel
March 20, 2012 07.25 Europe/London

Rovi is continuing its court case against Ziggo, according to the IPO prospectus of the Dutch cable operator.

The case involves three patent disputes with Rovi Corp, Starsight Telecast Inc. and GemStar Development Corporation. The latter two are now part of Rovi.

The first contested patent is that Gemstar claims that any of Ziggo’s cable customers who receive digital TV are infringing GemStar’s patents by using EPG functionalities built into their set-top boxes that involve its patents and the operator as a service provider is liable for such infringements regardless of whether any
individual cable customer uses a set-top box purchased from Ziggo or a third party.

Furthermore, the company claims Ziggo infringed one of their patents in relation to the Ziggo TV app, which enables customers to download an electronic program guide on a tablet or smartphone.

In the prospectus, Ziggo notes: “The possible financial impact of such infringement actions is difficult to predict. In the event of an adverse outcome, it is possible that we would have to pay damages and royalties to GemStar going forward.

“Although several set-top box suppliers provide us with indemnities for losses caused by the infringement of intellectual property by their products, such protections may not be sufficient to cover all damages and royalty payments that we may be required to make to Gemstar.”

On May 18, 2011, Rovi has lost a case brought against Ziggo after a Dutch court ruled a patent used in the cablenet’s electronic programme guide to be invalid in the Netherlands. Gemstar has appealed this decision, which is still pending.

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