Nielsen Sues TVision, HyphaMetrics For Patent Infringements

Nielsen has filed two separate lawsuits against TVision and HyphaMetrics for patent infringements.

Among other concerns, Nielsen claims the technology from HyphaMetrics -- a media data supplier that determines whether a device or smart TV is on or off --is infringing on Nielsen, since it can turn off Nielsen’s in-home meter system.

Nielsen says this infringes on its '994 patent, with regard to “excessive or insufficient power consumption of audience measurement meters.”

Separately, Nielsen also filed a suit against TVision, which it claims is infringing on two patents, in connection with TVision’s “eyes on the screen” technology that TVision uses for TV measurement.

Nielsen says its “... ’189 Patent relates to, among other things, methods, systems and apparatuses for capturing images of the area in front of the television and analyzing those images to determine the number of people present.” Nielsen was given its patent in April 2015.

It adds: “...such methods, systems, and apparatuses attempt to recognize objects in those images, such as body parts, using, for example, face detection.”

The second patent that Nielsen obtained in October 2012 --- the ’120 Patent, entitled “Methods and Apparatus to Monitor Advertisement Exposure” -- is used in “... correlating presentation of media content on a media content presentation device with activity on a different computing device."

Nielsen says in the complaint: “with its webcam, the defendant's technology captures head-shot images of panelists, determines which panelists are in the room, and determines when the panelists’ eyes are looking at the TV screen.”

Also, it says TVision’s “infringing technology relies on more than an optical camera,” and that its data can offer cross-platform insights through other companies such as Data Plus Math.



TVision statement to Television News Daily said: "This suit is without merit. We will vigorously defend ourselves, but we will not lose sight of our mission to bring TV and CTV into the future with more transparent and accurate person-level engagement data."

HyphaMetrics representatives had no comment in response to TVND's inquiries.

3 comments about "Nielsen Sues TVision, HyphaMetrics For Patent Infringements".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 23, 2021 at 10:49 a.m.

    Very interesting, Wayne. So Nielsen has been developing its own "eye camera" system but has so far, not deployed it. Hmm! I wonder if the TV networks knew about this?Or the major agencies? If the answer is "yes" why haven't they been pushing harder to get attentiveness measurements into the national peoplemeter rating system?

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, November 23, 2021 at 8:34 p.m.

    Very fair points you raise Ed.

    I'm no way suggesting that this may have happened, but maybe the technology was not as rigorous as expected - that is, not fit for purpose.

    For example maybe it could only "get it right" in controlled testing, say, three out of four times.   What do you do?   Reduce the base data to only the 100% compliant and accurate - and get falsely reduced numbers?   Do you make the assumption that 'passes' and 'fails' have the same viewing habits and just extrapolate the smaller base to the larger base?

    And what's more "eyes on" does not necessarily mean or equate to attentiveness.

    T'aint easy!

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 24, 2021 at 9:45 a.m.

    John, it may be that Nielsen ran into problems with its "eye camera" experiments but it's also possible,that if the TV networks knew about it that they weren't pleased and Nielsen decided to go slow on this new technique. I doubt that the technology is 100% perfect but it's clear to me that thinking that Nielsen is providing OTS---"opportunity-to-see"--- data for commercials is misleading to say the least. Even if we grant that a person who qualified him/herself as "watching" the program when it was first tuned in is still part of the "audience" when a commercial break appears---which may or may not be true----the evidence on "absentee viewing" is pretty overwhelming. About 30% of the presumed "audience" is leaving the room---or has already left-- when an average commercial gets on the screen. And, needless to say, many who remain aren't watching. Try to model outcomes with that kind of built in error margin and you will get very inconclusive results.

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