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Rovi loses patent fight with Amazon in U.S. appeals court

A worker collects orders at Amazon's fulfilment centre in Rugeley, central England December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A worker collects orders at Amazon's fulfilment centre in Rugeley, central England December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rovi, which sells television guide programs to cable providers, lost a patent fight with Amazon.com on Tuesday when a federal appeals court upheld a U.S. district judge's ruling in favor of the world's largest online retailer.

Rovi had accused Amazon of infringing on two patents, one that creates an electronic program guide on a television screen and another that allows a viewer to select and purchase a pay-per-view program.

In both patents, Judge Richard Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware had narrowly defined what the "claims," or portions of patents, did in such a way that forced Rovi to drop its argument for infringement.

Rovi asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent appeals, to broaden the patent claim definitions to allow it to proceed. But the court denied its request, siding with Amazon.

Rovi said it was disappointed by the decision and that it would continue to litigate against Amazon's use of other patents.

"It should be noted that this decision relates to only two patents in our extensive portfolio," said Samir Armaly, Rovi executive vice president for intellectual property. "We believe that our portfolio is even more relevant to Amazon today and going forward than when the present litigation began in early 2011."

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney)

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