The High Court of Australia yesterday finally came to a verdict in the three year legal battle between IceTV and The Nine Network over its use of an EPG, IceTV proved victorious in the long run.

The case was originally brought against IceTV in May 2006 by the Nine Network alleging that IceTV’s electronic program guide (EPG) infringed copyright in its television schedule. The claims were denied by IceTV.

The litigation was said to spark from the fact that The Nine Network had just purchased HWW, a company that aggregates and supplies TV Guide information to Foxtel and most print and online media.

IceTV successfully defended the allegations in August 2007, but The Nine Network then appealed the decision and the original decision was overturned.

IceTV was immediately granted the right to appeal and yesterday won the case.

Colin O’Brian, chairman and major shareholder for IceTV made an official comment directly after the decision yesterday.

“I would like to thank all our shareholders, our staff, our customers and our business partners. Without their support during the last three years IceTV would not have survived. IceTV now looks forward to a successful future bringing both Free-To-Air TV and content via various partners to viewers in a way that satisfies viewer demand, whilst embracing the future of digital Free-To-Air television in Australia,” he said.

IceTV’s general manager Matt Kossatz, was also thrilled with the decision, “Today’s decision is the news that we (IceTV), our staff and our loyal subscribers have waited three long years to hear. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support”.

“It is a very exciting time for digital television in Australia. We are seeing more and more content becoming available and being an independent company not a TV Network, means we will always have the ability to put the interests of the consumer first,” said Kossatz.

This decision has definitely set a new precedent when it comes to EPG’s and it will be interesting to see how the television industry will be affected by the decision in the future.