Invidi Keeps Padding Addressable-Ad Patent Portfolio

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Invidi Technologies, a provider of addressable-advertising solutions for pay-TV operators, its sixth patent, which covers a method of delivering addressable ads in a bandwidth-efficient way.

The patent -- Invidi's ninth granted worldwide -- is designed to let addressable advertising decisions be made at individual set-top boxes or other user devices based on information provided to the network by those subscriber devices.

U.S. Patent 8,108,895, granted Jan. 31, is titled "Content selection based on signaling from customer premises equipment in a broadcast network." Using information provided by the end devices, the network can optimize which particular advertisements should be delivered for viewing on one or more devices at a particular time. The patent isn't limited to cable set-top boxes, Invidi noted.

Invidi said the '895 patent complements others in its portfolio, including one granted last fall, U.S. Patent No. 8,065,703, "Reporting of User Equipment Selected Content Delivery," which describes consumer-premises equipment sending signals to headend systems about targeted content, with assets inserted into the content stream based on that signaling and the CPE reporting on their delivery.

"Network operators, strategic partners and investors who have taken the time to study the space have concluded we have a powerful patent portfolio underlying our innovative addressable advertising solutions," Invidi president and CEO David Downey said in a statement.

Invidi said it licenses patents and other intellectual property to customers and technology partners, as part of distribution and licensing deals.

Invidi in May 2011 sued Visible World -- a competing provider of addressable-advertising solutions -- and Cablevision Systems, a Visible World customer, alleging they infringed U.S. Patent No. 5,661,516 titled "System and Method for Selectively Distributing Commercial Messages over a Communications Network," covering household targeting and addressing advertisements to a subscriber terminal based on household data associated with the terminal.

Invidi's customers include DirecTV, Dish Network and Verizon Communications' FiOS TV. The New York-based company has received $111.5 million in funding from investors including DirecTV, Google, WPP's GroupM, Motorola Ventures, Experian, NBC, Verizon and venture capital firms Menlo Ventures, InterWest Partners, EnerTech Capital, Westbury Equity Partners and BDC Capital.