What to Know About Nielsen Suing VideoAmp


Two measurement rivals are taking things to court.

What’s happening

On Wednesday, measurement giant Nielsen filed a suit in Delaware District Court against VideoAmp for patent infringement, alleging the rival measurement company violated two technology patents recently issued to Nielsen. The patents relate to the methods and apparatus for determining the duration of viewing sessions.

Why is this happening?

In a statement to ADWEEK, Nielsen said it “takes great pride in our work to develop leading technologies and processes that deliver trusted audience measurement to our customers.”

“As is standard business practice, we will continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property rights to the fullest extent possible,” the statement continued.

Basically, this means the battle for measurement is heating up, and Nielsen’s lawsuit filing indicates that it believes VideoAmp is using its patented technology to contribute to its measurement data, which has “irreparably harmed Nielsen.”

With the filing, Nielsen is looking to stop VideoAmp from “any further unauthorized use of Nielsen’s patented technology” and is seeking to recover damages, “including lost profits, increased damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other such relief as the Court deems just and proper for VideoAmp’s violation of federal law.”

What is the technology?

According to the lawsuit, the patents “are directed to, among other things, systems, methods and apparatuses for improving audience measurement technology by collecting tuning session data from media output devices.” This includes set-top boxes (STBs), presentation session data from panelist meters or other sources and “models to more accurately determine audience viewing in households providing the tuning session data.”

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges the technology in question helps eliminate phantom viewing, which can happen when the STB is on but the TV isn’t.

Wait, why is this familiar?

If a Nielsen lawsuit seems like Deja Vu, that’s because they’ve been here before.

Nielsen has taken similar action against other companies, including TVision, HyphaMetrics and ACRCloud, as it looks to stop what it views as violations from startups looking to gain a foothold in the measurement space.

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