The Court of Appeal delivered has its judgment in the last outstanding patent case brought by Rovi against Virgin Media. The Right Honourable Lords Justices Moore-Bick, Kitchin and Floyd have comprehensively dismissed Rovi’s claims.
Rovi had sued Virgin Media in the High Court in relation to a patent centred on the sending of two specific signals to a TV or set-top box (one signal resulting in superimposing a prompt on-screen, prompting a viewer to request more information, and the other signal providing the information itself). In May 2014, the High Court judge, Mr Justice Mann, found Rovi’s claims to be invalid and ordered that the patent should be revoked in its entirety. Rovi appealed the High Court’s decision.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld the High Court’s decision, rejected Rovi’s appeal in its entirety and again ordered Rovi to reimburse Virgin Media’s legal costs. The patent will now be revoked.
This Court of Appeal decision comes shortly after another victory for Virgin Media in the Court of Appeal, in July 2015, upholding the revocation of a Rovi patent relating to VOD and live TV relocation. As a result, Rovi’s run of eleven successive defeats has been confirmed by the Court. Eleven out of the eleven patents asserted against Virgin Media since 2008 have now been revoked by either the English Court or the European Patent Office (EPO).
Brigitte Trafford, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media’s staunch defence of Rovi’s meritless patent claims has been vindicated in every single case heard by the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Each and every Court decision has confirmed that our position regarding Rovi patents has been justified.”
The Virgin Media legal team was led by Mine Hifzi, General Counsel, together with Andrea Murray, Head of Legal, Competition & Regulatory. The external legal advisers were Marks & Clerk Solicitors and counsel were James Mellor QC and Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC.