Gemstar boxes up final patent suit

Litigation dealt with interactive program guides

Gemstar-TV Guide has settled the last of its lawsuits against set-top box manufacturers for patent infringement, inking a deal with Scientific-Atlanta that will net the struggling company $65 million.

Litigation dealt with interactive program guides, essentially the onscreen versions of TV Guide. Gemstar previously settled with EchoStar, Pioneer and Comcast.

Under the terms of its agreement with Scientific-Atlanta, the companies entered into a cross-licensing agreement set to last nine years. Set-top box maker will pay Gemstar at least $154 million in license fees for the use of its technology, while the publisher of TV Guide and maker of onscreen guides is obliged to pay about $89 million to Scientific-Atlanta.

Companies will also gain access to each other’s patents and work together to make TV Guide Interactive available on Scientific-Atlanta boxes.

Deal resolves suits and countersuits between the two companies that date back to 1998.

It’s part of Gemstar’s efforts to put past troubles behind it and move on with its business. In the past year, company settled an investigation by the SEC and numerous shareholder suits over accounting irregularities involving former topper Henry Yuen.

It also named former Fox exec Rich Batista as its new CEO. He’s hoping to put Gemstar back on a growth path after years of turmoil and big losses due to TV Guide’s declining circulation.

Gemstar-TV Guide stock closed down 3% Wednesday at $3.27 before settlement was announced.

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