Gemstar Holds The Remote Control

The company's patents could reshape e-commerce

To hear his critics tell it, Henry C. Yuen may be the most feared guy in television. Slight and bespectacled, the 49-year-old former mathematician heads Gemstar International Group, a tiny company in Pasadena, Calif., with barely 200 people on its payroll. But what Gemstar has is a portfolio of more than 90 patents covering most of the ways that clickable information and shopping opportunities can be presented on a TV screen.

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