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Virgin Media to get sued by Gemstar

# 25 January 2008, 09:15 by Cable Forum

It’s not even been twelve months since ntl became Virgin Media and yet the cable company seems to be facing further visits to the court room, according to reports in the Financial Times. Apparently, Gemstar-TV Guide, claims in a High Court action that Virgin Media has breached a Gemstar patent in its Set Top Boxes.

Gemstar TV Guide is a Los Angeles based company which produces interactive programme guides (IPG’s) for todays common electrical gadgets such as mobile phones and personal computers and Television sets.

In a statement, Gemstar TV said they had:

“Worked diligently to license Virgin Media for their distribution of various set-top boxes that contain IPGs covered by our patents, but negotiations did not lead to a resolution.

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.”

Meanwhile, Virgin Media says it will defend itself vigorously:

“We are confident the courts will see Gemstar’s action for what it is: a piece of flagrant opportunism. We’ve been advised by our external counsel that the case is without merit and we will defend against it vigorously.”

Oh, I did forget to include the fact that Gemstar is 41% owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

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