“Disney’s agreement to license these patents and our late-stage discussions with Walt Disney Internet Group to work with us to develop enhanced TV programming provides a solid foundation on which we can create exciting television for viewers across the United States” (Forbes.com: Disney, OpenTV Settle Patent Dispute).
I don’t know the specifics of this patent case so I’m wondering if Disney just caved here because the cost to litigate was more than the royalties. I’m very suspicious of all technology/software patents that are general in scope. It’s fine to patent a physical process, but to patent a virtual process like this seems to stifle invention. After all there are many many ways to accomplish something via coding, just because it results in the same destination; in this case transmittal of data from a live sporting event to the internet, doesn’t mean it should be covered by a patent.
For more information on the types of bad patents I’m talking about visit this Wired article on EFFs patent challenges.