SONICblue vs. TiVo: A battle over patents
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - December 13, 2001
On December 11th, TiVo announced that it was awarded two new patents: "the first patent protects the functions that are the core of digital recording devices. The second patent covers inventions that enable simple and reliable networking of multiple streaming media devices in the home."
"The ability to pause live TV is one of the most desirable DVR functions. The combination of TiVo's TimeWarp patent issued earlier this year and the TrickPlay patent we are announcing today protects all the basic inventions that make TiVo the revolutionary product our customers enjoy today and insures it will be the product of the future," said Jim Barton, Chief Technology Officer for TiVo. "These patents further bolster our licensing business and protect current and future licensees using TiVo technology."
The same day, SONICblue announced that they were going to initiate discussion with TiVo to license SONICblue's own DVR patent, which was awarded on November 27. "The patent covers the fundamental concept of using a channel guide and user specified criteria to select TV and other types of shows for recording on a digital video recorder."
However, TiVo refuted SONICblue's announcement that the two companies were going to enter discussions on licensing issues. In response, SONICblue filed a lawsuit in Northern District Federal Court claiming patent infringement by TiVo of one of their patent's which is part of SONICblue's ReplayTV Digital Video Recorder Intellectual Property. Ken Potashner, CEO and chairman, SONICblue, said, "It is our intention to license our technologies and create partnerships, and, in instances where companies will not partner with us, to take measures we deem necessary to aggressively protect our Intellectual Property."
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