Interactive TV News Round-Up (VIII): TiVo, VIVO, Visiware, Videotron, TMS, Zap2it, Gigya

--TiVo Wins Trademark Case against Australian TV Manufacturer, VIVO
--Visiware Launches "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Interactive TV Game on Videotron's illico Service
--Tribune Media Services' Zap2it Launches Gigya-Powered Social-TV/Rewards Features

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. Due to the volume of news being generated by the NAB Show this week, we anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • TiVo announced last week that the Australian Federal Court has ruled in its favor in a trademark lawsuit against Australian TV manufacturer, VIVO. "This decision...vindicates the broad and enforceable nature of TiVo's worldwide trademark rights at a time when TiVo continues to drive impressive, international subscriber growth," the company states in its press materials. "Her Honor Justice Dodds-Streeton found TiVo to have established a strong reputation in Australia for 'its advantages and novel features' and as demonstrated by substantial mentions in national media and popular culture entertainment. Finding that the substantial reputation of the TiVo mark preceded the launch of the TiVo product in Australia in 2008, the court ruled that VIVO's adoption of the VIVO mark even prior to TiVo's 2008 commercial roll-out in Australia, infringed TiVo's rights. As a result of the findings, the court ordered that VIVO should be removed from the trademark registry and that further use of the VIVO mark would constitute continued infringement of the TiVo mark. TiVo agreed to a temporary stay of the order pending the court's determination, whether to allow an appeal by VIVO."
  • Visiware contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it has added an interactive TV game based on the game show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," to the catalog of games that it offers on Quebec cable operator Videotron's illico platform. "The license held by Disney-ABC Domestic Television and covering the United States and Canada, was acquired by Visiware in order to develop, market, and promote the interactive game based on the enormously popular television show, which continues to air in the United States," the company states in its press materials. "Videotron's illico digital TV clients will be the first to discover the game, which has thousands of new questions specifically developed in both French and English for the Quebec market. The principle of the game is the same as the TV program, where players have to correctly answer a series of 15 multiple-choice questions to reach the $1,000,000 level (in fictional in-game money). To do this, the player has 15 seconds to answer each question, as well as three lifelines: Ask the Audience, Ask a Friend, and Double Dip. 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire has now been added to a list of 43 games that are already available with the Playin'TV Max unlimited access package for only CAN$7.11/month...It can be accessed by pressing the A button on the Videotron remote, selecting Games and then TV-Web Games."
  • Tribune Media Services' (TMS) Zap2it TV listings site has launched various social-TV features that are designed to reward users for interacting with its content. "Users can now earn points and customized badges through common actions such as joining Zap2it's various social media communities, 'liking,' commenting on and reacting to blog posts, sharing content and checking in to TV shows," Zap2it states in its press materials. "By connecting with Zap2it through social media accounts and participating in these activities, Zap2it users can interact with like-minded entertainment fans, accumulate social currency, secure bragging rights and gain access to giveaways and themed prizes. Powered by Gigya, the Rewards Challenge is the most recent Zap2it product enhancement designed to increase social activities around TV shows and celebrities. By encouraging social activities, the Rewards Challenge builds user loyalty and site stickiness. All Challenges are fully integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other major social media sites allowing for achievements and progress to be shared with friends and community members. A leaderboard displaying user rankings provides the Zap2it audience of 'TV sociables' a snapshot of top performers, thereby encouraging friendly competition. The Zap2it Rewards Challenge officially gets underway with the 'Head Writer Badge' Sweepstakes in which the first users to earn 2,500 points and unlock the 'Head Writer' badge are eligible to win an Apple iPad."
North America