Legal knives out at Virgin Media

Written by Chris Forrester

Legal bills will be mounting this week as a long-pending action between Gemstar-TV Guide (now owned by Macrovision) and Virgin Media gets a hearing. The case is being heard at the High Court in London, with Gemstar alleging that Virgin Media has infringed 3 of its patents.

The three patents (EP UK 0969662, EP UK 1377049, and EP UK 161306) cover aspects such as EPGs and the handling of recording from EPGs. Gemstar says the case results from failed negotiations with Virgin to licence Gemstar’s EPG intellectual property rights. When the action commenced, in January last year, Virgin described the suit as “without merit”.

Gemstar’s view says: “While we would have preferred to reach a commercial solution with Virgin Media, we ultimately have a responsibility to our shareholders, licensees, and other stakeholders to protect the value of our intellectual property.”