Video services

TiVo Sues Motorola & Time Warner Cable

With a settlement with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) now out of the way, TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) is now siccing its lawyers on Motorola Mobility LLC and one of its cable MSO partners, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC).

TiVo revealed in an 8-K filing that it had filed the counterclaim in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming infringement on three patents:

  • No. 6,233,389: "Multimedia Time Warping System"
  • No. 7,529,465: "System for Time-Shifting Multimedia Content Streams"
  • No. 6,792,195: "Method and Apparatus Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous Stream of Formatted Digital Data"

Some Motorola box models cited in the suit include the DCH34xx Series and DCH64xx Series, as some Moto models with the DCT and and DCX designations.

The allegations follow a suit Motorola targeted at TiVo last February. TiVo's counterclaim can be found here. (Hat tip: @TechWzrd.)

Why this matters
The suit marks the first TiVo has brought against a cable operator. TiVo recently settled patent-related cases with Microsoft and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but still has a case pending against Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

The suit comes after TiVo has been unsuccessful in securing licensing or distribution deals with TW Cable, the nation's second-largest U.S. cable operator. Several other MSOs, including Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Cox Communications Inc. , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), RCN Corp. and Suddenlink Communications , have done deals with TiVo and have, so far, avoided any legal entanglements with the DVR pioneer.

TiVo came out on top of its lengthy legal spat with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS).

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:38:18 PM
re: TiVo Sues Motorola & Time Warner Cable

Play ball with TiVo or get sued. Perhaps it's always been the lesson with TiVo from the service provider standpoint, it seems.  Not surprised to see them counter Moto with a suit, but I am sort of surprised to see them lump TWC into it, though. TiVo just can't figure if it's friends or enemies  with the service providers, but they certainly do not back down from a fight when it involves a big company.  JB

cmmurrey 12/5/2012 | 5:38:18 PM
re: TiVo Sues Motorola & Time Warner Cable

With the Microsoft countersuits out of the way, TiVo now has the bandwidth and legal budget to add TWC to the Moto case. I believe Moto was already being counter-sued by TiVo prior to this filing. I think TiVo has been in long-term negotiations with TWC and clearly they couldn't get the deal they were looking for in those talks. 

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