|Industry||Electronic and print media|
|Fate||Merged with Macrovision Solutions Corporation|
|Products||Interactive program guide|
Video recorder scheduling codes
Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. was a media company that licensed interactive program guide technology to multichannel video programming distributors such as cable and satellite television providers, and consumer electronics manufacturers; video recorder scheduling codes under brands such as VCR Plus; as well as serving as publishers of TV Guide magazine as well as operators of tvguide.com, owners of TV Guide Network and TVG Network, and provided various related services. On May 2, 2008, Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Macrovision Solutions Corporation, which later changed its name to Rovi Corporation on July 16, 2009.
On October 5, 1999, Gemstar International Group Ltd. (which was founded by Henry Yuen, Daniel Kwoh, Louise Wannier and Wilson Cho) purchased TV Guide, Inc. (formerly United Video Satellite Group until after the close of the company's 1998 purchase of TV Guide magazine); the two companies had previously been involved in a legal battle over the intellectual property rights for their respective interactive program guide systems, VCR Plus+ and TV Guide On Screen, that began in 1994. The deal was completed in July 2000.
In 2000, SoftBook was acquired by Gemstar, who also acquired Softbook's competitor, the Rocket eBook), and merged them into the Gemstar eBook Group and released an e-reader called the RCA eBook Reader.
In 2002, Gemstar disclosed that it had not been collected $108 million in booked revenue. The genesis of the uncollected revenue stemmed from expired licensing agreements, mainly with cable set-top box manufacturer Scientific Atlanta. Gemstar, Yuen and Gemstar chief financial officer Elsie Leung had been booking the revenue for over a year, as they believed Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) allowed them to do this as Scientific Atlanta was continuing to add the company's interactive program guide software to its set-top boxes; the companies were also simultaneously in ongoing litigation and negotiations to resolve their disputes. As Scientific Atlanta had always compensated the company in the past, Gemstar, Yuen and Leung had reasonable evidence that the uncollected revenue would eventually be collected. When the amount accrued to a much larger sum of over $100 million, the company disclosed the information in a quarterly conference call with media and investors.
During this time period, News Corporation purchased shares in Gemstar that were owned by Liberty Media (a multimedia company owned by John Malone), giving News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch control of the company. Yuen was replaced as chief executive officer in October 2002 by Jeff Shell, an employee of Murdoch's who had been running the Fox Cable Networks Group. Gemstar's market capitalization fell, along with hundreds of other high-tech stocks, from a high of $20 billion in 2000 to a low of little more than $1 billion in 2005; its stock later recovered somewhat. In early 2007, Gemstar acquired Aptiv Digital, the developer of the Passport interactive program guide software used on Scientific Atlanta and Motorola set-top boxes.
On July 9, 2007, Gemstar chairman Anthea Disney announced that its board of directors has "authorized the Company and its advisors to explore strategic alternatives intended to maximize shareholder value, which may include a sale of the Company." This move was seen by many analysts as an attempt on the part of Murdoch, who was a 41% shareholder in Gemstar, to raise cash for its attempt to buy Wall Street Journal parent company Dow Jones.
On December 7, 2007, Gemstar signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Macrovision (later Rovi Corporation, now TiVo Corporation) in a cash and stock deal, which based on the closing price for the Macrovision stock on December 6, 2007, was valued at approximately $2.8 billion. The deal closed on May 2, 2008.
On November 27, 2009, Virgin Media succeeded in a patent dispute brought against it by Gemstar-TV Guide. The London High Court found that Virgin Media had infringed on patents EP 0969662, EP 1377049 and EP 1613066, but also found them to be invalid and moved to revoke them. The ruling called into question the ability for Rovi to enforce its patents both in the United Kingdom and with operators around the world. Rovi Corporation appealed against the decision for two of the three patents and continued to pursue Virgin Media for infringement of intellectual property. However, on March 29, 2011, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales upheld the original decision.
Virgin Media has successfully defended claims by Rovi and Patent 11 has been revoked. Rovi has been ordered by the Court of Appeal to reimburse Virgin Media's legal costs.
Rovi Corporation continues to execute and license its patents including patents from Gemstar-TV Guide to companies worldwide (including those based in the United Kingdom); in particular, in 2010 deal, the company signed a deal with Sky to license the company's IPG patents.