The story so far…
Digeo, maker of the Moxi DVR, files an antitrust lawsuit against Gemstar, the TV Guide electronic/interactive programming guide folks, as described in the Seattle Times:
The rivalry between Digeo and Gemstar surfaced Thursday in federal court in Seattle, where Digeo filed a lawsuit claiming that Gemstar violated federal and state antitrust laws. Digeo said that it asked to license a subset of the 249 patents in Gemstar’s IPG portfolio, but that Gemstar insisted Digeo license the entire portfolio. If Digeo didn’t sign that licensing agreement, the suit said, it would be sued by Gemstar for patent infringement. Digeo is seeking damages in court and an order that stops Gemstar’s licensing practices.
Gemstar responds (retaliates?) with with a patent infringement lawsuit against Digeo, as described in the Broadcast Newsroom:
“We have attempted over an extended period of time to engage in patent licensing discussions with Digeo regarding the Moxi guide Digeo’s refusal to negotiate a patent license with us, and its decision to file suit against us, left us no option except to pursue legal remedies to protect the value of our intellectual property,” Gemstar executive VP and general counsel Stephen Kay said in a prepared statement Friday.
No surprises here… Gemstar has been quite aggressive in going after competing EPGs and Digeo refused to be strong-armed. TiVo faced a similar Gemstar suit several years ago, which resulted in a partnership (notice the TV Guide logos and related TiVo Showcase). It’s also worth noting that Comcast has been an equity investor/partner with both Gemstar and TiVo. Corporate nepotism, anticompetitive practices?