Rovi sues Hulu over program guide patents

Rovi, the increasingly active developer of interactive programming guides for advanced TV services, is in the news again, this time for filing a patent infringement lawsuit against online video juggernaut turned auction block item Hulu.

The suit alleges Hulu infringed on three of Rovi's programming guide patents, and apparently comes after three years of Rovi trying to get Hulu to agree to a licensing deal. Rovi has sued other companies over its patents in the past, which is not necessarily a surprise, given how important programming guides have become and how similar most of them seem.

In recent months, Rovi has been leveraging its position in the programming guide market, winning new deals and making acquisitions, as well as selling off some non-core technology. Hulu, meanwhile, is still hugely popular, but reportedly is in the midst of finding a buyer, and also is in danger of taking a competitive hit from endeavors like the new Fox Broadcasting paywall.

For more:
- see this GigaOm story

Related articles:
Rovi acquired Digiforge last year to target cable
Rovi recently landed Charter and sold tech to Irdeto
Fox announced its paywall plan last week