Microsoft Sues TiVo Over Patents

Microsoft filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against TiVo alleging the DVR company infringes two of its patents, and also intervened on behalf of AT&T in TiVo's lawsuit against the telco, which uses Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV platform.

Microsoft filed the lawsuit against TiVo Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The two Microsoft patents relate to a system that displays programmable information and a secure method for buying and delivering video programs. The suit seeks an order declaring Microsoft's patents valid as well as an order barring TiVo from infringing them, plus unspecified monetary damages.

In a statement, TiVo said: "Microsoft's recent legal actions, including its decision to seek to intervene on behalf of its customer, AT&T, and its recent complaint against TiVo in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California do not bear on whether the AT&T products and services that are the subject of TiVo's complaint infringe the patents asserted by TiVo. Rather these actions are part of a legal strategy to defend AT&T. We remain confident in our position that AT&T will be found to infringe on the TiVo patents asserted."

In August 2009, TiVo sued both AT&T and Verizon Communications in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for allegedly violating three of its patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 6,233,389 B1 ("Multimedia Time Warping System") -- which EchoStar and Dish Network were found to have infringed -- 7,529,465 B2 ("System for Time Shifting Multimedia Content Streams"), and 7,493,015 B1 ("Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System").

Last week, Microsoft challenged TiVo's DVR patents in the Texas court, arguing that the disputed features in TiVo's lawsuit against AT&T are provided by Mediaroom.