Nielsen is suing rival TV audience measurement firm VideoAmp for alleged infringement of two recently-issued patents concerned with the correction of viewing data skewed by 'phantom' or 'zombie' viewing.
The lawsuit was filed at a Delaware District Court on Wednesday and relates to methods for measuring the duration of viewing sessions. The veteran ratings and ad currency supplier has already sued companies including TVision and HyphaMetrics for patent infringement in 2021, and TVSquared in 2022.
The patents in question in the latest filing are the '058 Patent... Methods and Apparatus to Determine a Duration of Media Presentation Based on Tuning Session Duration', issued only on 9th January this year; and the '250 Patent' with the same title and issued in December 2023 - both are based on continuing applications dating back to January 2016. Both relate to 'systems, methods, and apparatuses for improving audience measurement technology by collecting tuning session data from media output devices like set-top boxes (STBs) and presentation session data from panelist meters and other sources and by using models to more accurately determine audience viewing in households providing the tuning session data'. The methods described include big data-based solutions for the problem of 'phantom viewing' - when set-top boxes are tuned to a particular channel but that channel was not showing on the television in question, for example because of the use of DVD players.
In its filing, Nielsen says VideoAmp's process of 'commingling' data sources - enhanced by its acquisition of IronGrid (with 'zombie viewing' mentioned here) - infringes the patents. In a press release in December, VideoAmp announced the release of a 'proprietary commingled Identity (ID) solution' stating 'VideoAmp was one of the first to commingle big data, pioneering and perfecting the methodology to combine Set-Top-Box and Smart TV and creating one of the largest and most robust datasets in the marketplace' (www.videoamp.com/press/videoamp-commingled-identity-solution ).
Nielsen seeks 'to enjoin VideoAmp from any further unauthorized use of its patented technology, and to recover damages, including lost profits, increased damages, reasonable attorneys' fees' and other items.
DRNO has not seen a response from VideoAmp at the time of going to press but will update this item accordingly.
Web sites: www.nielsen.com and www.videoamp.com .
All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.