Light Reading

TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
8/27/2009
50%
50%

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s litigation strategy involving its patent portfolio is pretty simple: If you're a major multichannel service provider and refuse to do a deal with the DVR specialist, you risk getting your pants sued off.

In the wake of its protracted legal skirmish with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), TiVo is now taking aim at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), suing those telcos over claims they're infringing on three TiVo patents: 6,233,389 B1 ("Multimedia Time Warping System"), 7,529,465 B2 ("System for Time Shifting Multimedia Content Streams"), and 7,493,015 B1 ("Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System").

TiVo filed the complaints in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, which is the same court that hammered Dish and EchoStar. (See TiVo Suit Targets AT&T & Verizon.)

While TiVo's battle with Dish centers primarily on software and the Time Warping patent, these new allegations against Verizon and AT&T also address some hardware-related claims.

During Wednesday's second-quarter earnings call, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said litigation was the only option at his company's disposal after it became clear Verizon and AT&T had no intention to strike deals that would give them access to TiVo's intellectual property. (See TiVo Posts Q2.)

He claimed TiVo made multiple attempts to come to a commercial arrangement with AT&T and Verizon, but "they were not reached."

"Unfortunately there are multichannel operators that compete with us through the unauthorized use of our intellectual property," Rogers said, noting that TiVo is seeking undisclosed financial damages for alleged infringement and a permanent injunction -- a similar situation to that sought in the ongoing TiVo-Dish DVR patent battle. (See TiVo-Dish DVR Slugfest Rages On , Another Round to Charlie Ergen & Co?, and TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B .)

By comparison, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cox Communications Inc. , and RCN Corp. , which are all playing ball with TiVo through licenses and distribution deals, have managed to avoid TiVo's litigious fury. (See RCN Makes TiVo Its Dominant DVR and Cox Tees Up TiVo Test Bed .)

On Wednesday's call, several analysts quizzed Rogers on why TiVo proceeded with a suit against AT&T and Verizon before its case with Dish and EchoStar is finally resolved. Dish and EchoStar are appealing the case, and a court hearing on that matter isn't expected to take place until this November. Rogers said only that "we believe that this action at this time makes sense."

He was also asked why Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), which still has no deals with TiVo yet, and set-top makers such as Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), have not been targeted by TiVo's legal team.

Rogers said TiVo "has had ongoing conversations with Time Warner… There are many ways to craft an arrangement that is beneficial to us and the cable operator." But he declined to comment further on TiVo's possible litigation strategies involving set-top makers, other than to stress that TiVo's strategic "focus" has been to pursue relationships with multichannel distributors.

Both AT&T and Verizon declined to comment on the TiVo lawsuits.

Verizon has about 2.5 million FiOS TV subs, while AT&T has about 1.6 million U-verse video customers.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News




Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.


(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:50 PM
re: TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal
Why isn't anyone suing Moto? They make the boxes.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:49 PM
re: TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal


Or Cisco, or Pace, or Thomson, or Digeo, or Microsoft, or ADB, or NDS, or OpenTV...anyone else that makes DVRs or dvr software...


As the story points out toward the bottom, Rogers was asked about that yesterday, and he didn't give a satisfactory answer...just that he and TiVo aren't commenting "on litigation strategy as it related to specific parties."  Beyond that he said, TiVo's "focus" is to pursue relationships (and lawsuits, evidently) with multichannel distributors.


But that tells me that TiVo's at least leaving that door open. Jeff

Duh!
50%
50%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:57:48 PM
re: TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal


Does MOT have any patents that they might claim against TiVo?

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:45 PM
re: TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal


That's a good question. Will have dig around on that..and see if AT&T and VZ have any patents that might shield them from  TiVo's suits.

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:44 PM
re: TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal


Although TiVo isn't specifically revealing why it's not throwing the book at Motorola and/or Cisco and instead focusing on service providers, I wonder if TiVo is taking that approach to help protect Comcast, one of its coveted customers. And that could also apply to Time Warner Cable, a big Cisco shop, that TiVo wants to score some biz with...


If TiVo were to go after Motorola, wouldn't that then put all of Moto's cable MSO customers, including Comcast, also at risk..unless they (the set-top vendors) specifically indemnified the MSOs against that?


Then again, TiVo may just be saving that Ace for later, giving it a few years of lawsuit-driven revenues to pursue...


 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (6) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones