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Interactive TV Pioneer OpenTV Sues Apple, Alleging Patent Infringement

OpenTV developed the interactive TV software used in millions of television set-top boxes.


Interactive television pioneer OpenTV has sued Apple, alleging that the Cupertino technology giant infringed on its patents.

The civil suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, alleges that several Apple products and services violate five of OpenTV’s patents related to streaming digital video. The San Francisco company is asking the court to award it unspecified compensation for Apple’s alleged infringement.

OpenTV alleges that Apple’s iTunes software for downloading or streaming rented movies violates its patents for securely delivering media to consumer devices. The suit claims that other companies, including Apple rival Google, Cisco Systems and Disney, have licensed its technology.

OpenTV was an early entrant in the world of streaming content, making the interactive TV software used in millions of television set-top boxes. Its software was among the first to deliver an Internet browser to the TV, allowing Dish Network’s satellite TV subscribers to shop on QVC without leaving their couches.

Today, OpenTV provides the software that powers on-demand video services and digital video recorders.

The Kudelski Group acquired a controlling stake in OpenTV in 2007. Three years later, OpenTV became a wholly owned subsidiary whose patents are part of a portfolio of more than 4,400 pending and issued patents related to the secure delivery of media.

An Apple spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

This article originally appeared on

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