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Gemstar slowly settling lawsuits

Diva acquisition case finalized, Yuen troubles still linger

The slew of patent lawsuits Gemstar-TV Guide Intl. racked up under the tenure of fired chief exec Henry Yuen are being settled one by one.

On Friday, Gemstar paid $39.5 million in a suit over its failed acquisition of Diva Systems. Lawsuit was prompted by Gemstar’s attempt to back out of a $40 million deal to acquire all of Diva’s assets in September, four months after its buyout offer. Diva, an interactive TV technology company, was and is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The case went to arbitration, and in May, Gemstar was ordered to pay $39.5 million to Diva’s bankruptcy trustee; the sum was paid last week.

“It was a pretty quick process,” said Sharon Kopman, an attorney representing Diva’s Chapter 11 trustee. She suggested that Yuen’s absence may explain why. “New people have been put in place and maybe that made things easier. They had fresh eyes coming in.”

Choppy waters

Not to imply that it’s now smooth sailing for the Pasadena-based company.

Last week, Yuen was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of inflating company revenue by $223 million over two years.

Former Gemstar general counsel Jonathan Orlick has sued the company, claiming he was fired earlier this month “without cause” after he cooperated with the SEC’s investigation. Gemstar said the firing was “with cause.”

Last week, Orlick’s request to have Gemstar pay his legal fees was denied in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In a statement, Gemstar said it “continues to cooperate fully with the SEC investigation. Any allegations to the contrary are misleading and categorically untrue.”

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