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
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
WiFi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Tastes Like Fish Click Here
Please hold while I lick the phone.