updated 09:50 am EST, Wed January 20, 2010
Microsoft says TiVo copying Mediaroom tech
Microsoft late Tuesday was discovered to have sued TiVo over alleged patent infringement in its DVRs. The complaint accuses TiVo in a San Francisco court of copying Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology in the DVRs themselves, the software and the subscription-based service. The suit would if successful block TiVo from selling DVRs without a licensing deal.
The suit is an endorsement of an earlier Texas lawsuit from AT&T against TiVo that claims the media boxes violate patents relating to AT&T's VDSL-based U-Verse service. Microsoft had originally tried to join that suit as Mediaroom underpins the U-Verse infrastructure.
While committed to collecting a royalty, Microsoft says it has begun talks with TiVo to reach a deal without going through courts.
Critics of these suits have noted that they serve anti-competitive interests by cutting out possible competitors to AT&T's own solutions for recording its TV shows. TiVo also provides on-demand movie viewing from Amazon, Netflix and other services, further cutting out AT&T services. [via BusinessWeek]