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Roku Beats Texas Software Billionaire's $228 Million IP Suit

Roku's 'More Ways to Watch' feature
(Image credit: Roku)

A jury in a West Texas federal court last week ruled in favor of Roku in a two-year patent infringement battle initiated by Austin-based software maker ESW Holdings. 

Backed by Texas billionaire Joseph Liemandt, ESW Holdings has created what the Wall Street Journal has described as a “Netflix-like service for business-to-business software, buying startups whose owners are looking to cash out.”

ESW (an acronym for “enterprise software”) claimed that Roku’s “More Ways to Watch” feature violates U.S. Patent No. 9,451,294, titled “Methods and systems for distributing interactive content”; and patent No. 9,420,349, “Methods and systems for monitoring a media stream and selecting an action.”

Roku says More Ways to Watch “enables you to stream live broadcast shows from the beginning, find full episodes of shows you missed, discover similar shows and movies and see ads that are more relevant to you.”

“It is ESW’s belief that Roku’s More Ways to Watch feature could not have been developed” without infringing on ESW patents, the suit contends. ESW Holdings was seeking as much as $228 million in overall compensation. 

Based largely on witness testimony from key technologists, however, the jury ruled that Roku didn’t infringe on the patents. 

In a separate intellectual property dispute, Roku last week filed suit in California last week against remote control maker Universal Electronics