When Greg Fettig, a Denver-based patent attorney at FisherBroyles, met with a client in late February, the client mentioned they had won an Emmy.
“What do you mean you got an Emmy?” Fettig said. The confusion was understandable. As Fettig noted, not many patent attorneys can say their clients have been awarded the golden statuette, which is more typically associated with TV stars in gowns and tuxedos than Colorado tech companies.
Lakewood-based Canoe Ventures, a FisherBroyles client since 2018, was awarded a Technology and Engineering Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences — an achievement made possible in part by patents FisherBroyles has helped the company obtain.
Canoe was recognized by the academy for its work in “cross-Multichannel Video Programming Distributor dynamic ad insertion for cable network video on demand content.” The company was founded in 2008 by cable providers Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Brighthouse, which are all MVPDs, to provide video-on-demand and ad insertion technology.
“It’s pretty interesting technology,” Fettig said. “They’re basically able to identify which advertisements a viewer would like to see and deliver those directly to their set-top box.” During commercial breaks in video-on-demand content, Canoe contacts ad decision servers to deliver targeted advertisements to viewers.
According to a news release from the firm, Canoe serves 85% of the 45 million U.S. households with video-on-demand. The team led by Fettig has helped Canoe obtain 17 patents in targeted advertising, with many others still pending.
The company started out making ad decision servers, which decide which advertisements are best for a viewer to see, according to Fettig, who has been working with Canoe for about as long as the company has been around, and many of the patents he has secured involve that technology. Canoe has since “evolved into more of a routing network” that contacts the servers, Fettig added, and his team is working on patents in that area.
“Our patented innovations in dynamic ad insertion have allowed us to increase our market share to serve over 38 million households, an estimated $1.5 billion market. And now, we have an Emmy!” said Tom Huber, Canoe’s chief operating officer and general counsel, in the news release.
Fettig works with a variety of clients, including universities and defense contractors, whose technology ranges from data storage systems and artificial intelligence to directed-energy weapons systems.
NATAS announced the winners of the 72nd Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards on Jan. 25. Other recipients include household names Sony, Disney, CNN, Netflix and Eastman Kodak. This year’s awards also recognize technological achievements in areas such as encryption, content delivery networks, compression technologies and OLED monitors.
The winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in October. Fettig said he’s already talked Huber into letting him hold the trophy. “He’s like, fine, we’ll let you take a picture with the Emmy,” he said.