The battle over dominance in the DVR market continued today. TiVo, the first digital video recorder launched in 1999, filed complaints against AT&T and Verizon in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, claiming infringement of three patents related to its DVR software. The claims seek damages and a permanent injunction.
AT&T and Verizon provide TV/Cable service via their phone lines and offer DVR as a feature.
The complaint is the same one involved in an ongoing lawsuit with DISH/Echostar that dates back to 2004. TiVo originally won a judgement in that case of $105 million, which DISH immediately appealed while subsequently developing a modified software that it used to replace the old software in dispute.
TiVo claimed that the new software still infringed on its patent, with the court agreeing. DISH immediately appealed the ruling and in early August won a small battle when the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) dismissed TiVo’s request that it vacate DISH’s request to re-examine its patent.
DISH released a statement this morning saying it would use the PTO’s dismissal in its appeal with the courts, but it’s unclear what impact that will have on any ruling.
AT&T’s U-Verse and Verizon Fios’ services are relatively small when compared to DISH. Combined they reach about 4 million subscribers versus DISH’s nearly 14 million.
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