Who Knew Adding a Share Button Would Get You Sued? Rovi Claims Hulu Is Infringing on Their Interactive TV Patents

Unfortunately the details are scarce at this time, but it has just hit the wire that Rovi (formerly Macrovision and Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.) has set its lawyers on Hulu for what appears to be its latest Facebook integration. If you remember earlier this month, Hulu introduced the ability to share and discover videos with friends on Facebook. The sharing function also included the ability to share a particular time in the video you wanted to highlight. Pretty basic, really. But I guess it was enough for Hulu to get in hot water with Rovi.

We are excited to announce a new feature that is the first-of-its-kind and one that we think will become a staple at Hulu going forward. One of the most exciting features we are launching today is the ability to comment on a specific moment in time while watching any video on Hulu, and with one click, instantly share those remarks — and the relevant video moment from the program — on Facebook for all your friends to see. When you comment on a Hulu video, that exact moment will appear on Facebook so your friends can jump in and react right away. And since friends can respond to your comments, you can have those water cooler conversations online at any time. We’ve been using this feature in test mode here at Hulu HQ for a bit…and we are officially addicted. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  — Hulu

UPDATE: In Rovi Corp. v. Hulu LLC, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington) the actual patents in question are: 6,396,546; 7,103,906; and 7,769,775. GigaOm speculates that it may be Rovi’s way getting Hulu to license their IP.

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