Digeo Clears a Big Legal Hurdle

Obtaining Gemstar IPG license should reduce distractions as troubled firm pursues a new retail box and a CableCARD-based HD-DVR for MSOs

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 21, 2008

2 Min Read
Digeo Clears a Big Legal Hurdle

Set-top maker Digeo Inc. has swept away one significant distraction -- a legal entanglement with Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. (Nasdaq: GMST) -- as the company recovers from several embarrassing setbacks. (See Gemstar, Digeo Settle Up.)

On Monday, Digeo said it signed a multiyear patent license agreement with Gemstar-TV Guide, which is in the process of being acquired by Macrovision Solutions Corp. . (See Macrovision to Buy Gemstar-TV Guide for $2.8B.)

Digeo and Gemstar did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but the parties did agree to dismiss all claims tied to a 2006 lawsuit in which Gemstar accused Digeo of infringing on some of patents.

The new license covers Digeo's currently deployed IPGs (interactive programming guides) and others that Digeo plans to deploy with TV service operators and for use on consumer electronics and PC-based platforms, the companies said.

Digeo, backed by Paul Allen, laid off about half its staff and altered its product strategy in January following the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. (See Moxi Maker Digeo Slashes Staff, Product Line .)

Though Digeo promoted two high-end DVR products in January, it quickly changed strategies and now says it is focused on a "next-generation consumer" box, with more details expected later this year.

The company has touted deployments with eight cable MSOs, with Charter Communications Inc. being the largest, but the vendor has lacked a viable cable set-top platform since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate on integrated security went into effect last July. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

The company is also working on a CableCARD-based, cost-reduced HD-DVR for direct distribution through cable MSOs, but has not disclosed an expected product release date. However, next month's Cable Show in New Orleans (May 18-20) will give Digeo its first high-profile opportunity to make a formal announcement. [Ed. note: Or just make stuff up.]

A Digeo spokeswoman confirmed that the company will participate in next month's cable confab, but declined to provide any additional data on Digeo's cable product roadmap.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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