Virgin Media wins appeal over Rovi EPG patent

Virgin Media has won an appeal ruling confirming it didn’t infringe European patents for interactive programme guides held by Rovi’s Gemstar-TV Guide International because the patents were deemed invalid.

The ruling by a three-judge panel in the Court of Appeal in London upholds a lower court decision from 2009 that two of Gemstar’s three patents in the case, which relate to television channel-guide systems, weren’t innovative enough to be valid. Gemstar didn’t appeal over the third invalid patent.

“The judge was plainly right,” Justice Robin Jacob said in the ruling, referring the lower court’s earlier judgment. “The appeal should be dismissed.”

The complaint over interactive programme guides, which are Gemstar’s main product, was filed in 2008 after the two sides weren’t able to reach a licensing agreement, Los Angeles-based Gemstar said at the time. Virgin Media called the lawsuit “flagrant opportunism.”

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