Hulu sued for alleged patent infringements

The streaming movie and TV show service Hulu, which is currently in the middle of a bidding war by several companies, is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Reuters reports that Rovi Corp has sued Hulu, accusing it of violating Rovi's patents for its electronic programing guide technology. Rovi's technology has been licensed by a number of companies including Apple, Microsoft and Comcast. Blockbuster uses Rovi's program guide tech for its Blockbuster on Demand service while Best Buy also licenses the tech for its CinemaNow service.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday, Rovi accuses Hulu of infringing on its patents, saying that such actions, "presents significant and ongoing damages to Rovi's business." Rovi is wanting compensation for any lost revenue from not licensing its technology. Hulu has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

Hulu has been in the news a lot lately due to the fact that the company put up a virtual "For Sale" sign in June. Since then, a number of companies have reportedly been kicking at Hulu's tires including Google, Yahoo, Apple and others. Microsoft reportedly also thought about acquiring Hulu but has since pulled out of the talks. Hulu's main rival, Netflix, reportedly has no plans to bid to acquire the company. In the meantime, Hulu itself continues to do well. Recently, the company announced that it had signed up 875,000 subscribers to its monthly premium Hulu Plus service. It also said it is on target to have over 1 million subscribers by the end of 2011.

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11 Comments

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Enough with these lawsuits, my goodness. If you had the original idea, you obviously didn't have the talent to bring it to fruition. Why penalize someone who did? Why don't these ideas have expiration dates or legal disclaimers?

Software patent prevent innovation.
I think if you have received a patent and don't use it for one year, you should lose the right to make any claims upon it.

I fear that someday I will create or be part of a team that creates something cool and then get sued for it because it is "patented" by someone else.

Zimmedon said,
I fear that someday I will create or be part of a team that creates something cool and then get sued for it because it is "patented" by someone else.

I'm currently studying computer science and I have the same fear. Software design is turning more into designing around patents than creating the best software.

Gotta give them a little credit on this one, from the way it reads, this company not only has a Patent, but a Product ( used by Blockbuster ), making them more than just a patent troll.

normally i'd say WTF but considering so many heavyweight companies willingly license their technology, Hulu might end up on the losing end of this.