TiVo settles ‘bonus content’ patent action

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Texas-based MONKEYMedia has been suing TiVo in respect of 4 patents held by MONKEYMedia covering a system of pausing and switching the main audio-video stream to access available bonus content such as behind-the-scenes footage, previews and product information.

The action, in the US District Court for California’s Northern District, has resulted in TiVo settling the claim.

The action centred on patents held by Eric Gould Bear under his ‘Seamless Expansion’ family of inventions first created as early as 1994. As described to the Court the original concept envisaged a device playing the main video stream and where the user might want further content – originally envisaged as advertising (“Advertainments”), network previews or product details and also allowed for ‘calls to action’ where the user could request materials, vote or purchase products.

The US Patent & Trademark Office re-examined and reissued Patent 10,051,298 to Monkey in August last year.

MONKEYMedia argued that TiVo’s options for users included “swivel search,” “explore this show,” and the newer “more info” user experience that affords access to details about the cast, behind-the-scenes content, and related shows, and thus infringed Monkey’s rights.


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