Having had some success against DISH with its DVR patent infringement strategy, TiVo has now set its sights on Verizon and AT&T. TiVo filed complaints in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas against AT&T and Verizon for “infringement of the following three TiVo patents U.S. Patent Nos. 6,233,389 B1 (“Multimedia Time Warping System”), 7,529,465 B2 (“System for Time Shifting Multimedia Content Streams”), and 7,493,015 B1 (“Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System”).” TiVo won a case against DISH for $192.7 million, which is currently on appeal, on similar grounds.
TiVo says they tried to negotiate a licensing agreement with both AT&T and Verizon prior to the suit. I’m sure we all find it shocking that the parties were unable to reach an agreement. TiVo seems somewhat emboldened by this patent strategy. Their stock is up over 50% since the DISH patent judgment. Although they’ve had some decent market wins in expanding their distribution relationships, most notably with Comcast and RCN, it appears as if patent infringement judgments are the best thing going for TiVo for the time being. I suspect more patent litigation against additional video operators is forthcoming. Maybe they’re better off being a licensor of intellectual property than a provider of subscription DVR services. Looks like good days ahead for TiVo’s patent litigating law firms.