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Gemstar-TV Guide To Sue Digeo

Electronic program guide supplier Gemstar-TV Guide has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Digeo, whose Moxi interactive guide is used by cable operator Charter Communications.

In the complaint filed in Federal Court in the Central District of California, Gemstar-TV Guide alleges that Digeo Inc.’s Moxi interactive program guide infringes some of its interactive program guide patents, and asserts that Digeo "has engaged in and continues to engage in willful infringement" of Gemstar-TV Guide's patents through its Moxi guide. The complaint claims that Charter Communications, by deploying unlicensed Moxi guides, is also liable.

Gemstar-TV Guide says it filed its lawsuit after failed patent licensing discussions with Digeo, and after Digeo filed antitrust litigation against it. Gemstar-TV Guide says that Digeo’s claims in that antitrust lawsuit are without merit.

"We have attempted over an extended period of time to engage in patent licensing discussions with Digeo regarding the Moxi guide," said Stephen Kay, Gemstar-TV Guide's executive vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "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."

In a statement, Digeo said that it has not seen a copy of the Gemstar-TV Guide complaint and "therefore, cannot comment on it." The company added that the lawsuit is "an apparent reaction" to the antitrust lawsuit it filed on September 28, in which Digeo "seeks injunctive relief and damages caused by Gemstar's anticompetitive business and licensing practices and by Gemstar's ongoing monopolizatoin and attempted monopolization of relevant markets through exclusionary and unlawful acts."