Rovi Corp sued Hulu, accusing the online video site of infringing patents that cover electronic program guides.
Rovi, created from Macrovision Corp's acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc in 2008, provides technology that powers the streaming services provided by Blockbuster On Demand and Best Buy Co Inc's CinemaNow, according to the complaint, filed on Friday .
Rovi licenses its technology to Apple Corp, Microsoft Corp and Comcast Corp, among others, and said Hulu's infringement "presents significant and ongoing damages to Rovi's business."
Rovi said it is seeking compensation for lost license revenue and treble damages.
Hulu did not immediately reply to a request for a comment.
Hulu has been put up for sale by its owners, which include Walt Disney Co, News Corp, Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and Providence Equity Partners.
A dozen potential buyers have entered preliminary sale talks, including Google Inc and Microsoft, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The case is Rovi Corp et al v Hulu LLC, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-00665