& cplSiteName &

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...


 

From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Are We All Security Service Providers Now?

5|29|17   |   3:40   |   (2) comments


As the security environment gets more threatening, in the wake of WannaCry and other attacks, service providers need to shoulder more responsibility for securing networks, says Tim Kelleher, vice president for IT security services at CenturyLink, in an interview at the Light Reading Big Communications ...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Ed Chan on the New World for Networks

5|29|17   |   19:08   |   (0) comments


In this 2017 Big Communications Event keynote, Ed Chan Senior Vice President, Technology, Strategy and Planning, Corporate Networking and Technology, Verizon, discusses the coming world of sensors and the smart edge, powered by new spectrum and faster fiber uploads. For more BCE coverage and videos,
LRTV Interviews
Zayo's CTO: Respect the Infrastructure!

5|29|17   |   3:04   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Zayo's CTO Jack Waters talked about infrastructure and the changing customer landscape for network providers. While everyone else is chatting up applications and services, Waters urges the industry not to downplay the role that ...
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Creating Dynamic Networks to Meet Business Needs

5|26|17   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


As enterprises need more dynamic networks, service providers need to deliver on-demand, virtual services to meet those needs. AT&T is creating a networking fabric to mix-and-match SDN technologies for enterprise customers, says Roman Pacewicz, AT&T senior vice president for offer management and service integration, in an interview at Light Reading's
LRTV Interviews
EdgeConneX on Industry Headwinds & Tailwinds

5|26|17   |   2:41   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017, EdgeConneX CTO Don MacNeil discussed the value of partnerships in the digital world.
LRTV Documentaries
4 Steps Toward a Higher Network IQ

5|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, EXFO CEO Philippe Morin explains how sensors and analytics can boost a network's intelligence and enable on-demand customer experiences. Find more BCE 2017 coverage here.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (1) comment


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
NB-IoT? Not at Those Prices, Say DT Customers
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.