News Round-Up

--TiVo Files Patent Infringement Complaints against AT&T, Verizon
--Time Warner Cable, Verizon to Test "TV Everywhere" Model
--Yelp.com Launches Augmented Reality App for iPhone

The [itvt] editorial team is currently traveling in the UK, and, because of time restraints, we have decided to focus our editorial efforts this week on news that has been less widely covered (or not covered anywhere else at all). Three of the more widely covered news stories from the past few days are covered in summary/round-up form below. We anticipate some additional interruption of our regular news publishing schedule over the next few days, so we apologize in advance for any inconvenience to our readers. Here is the round-up:

  • TiVo last week filed complaints in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas against AT&T and Verizon for infringement of three of its US patents: 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"). According to the company, the complaints "seek damages for past infringement and a permanent injunction, similar to that issued by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas against DISH/EchoStar." Meanwhile, DISH Network and EchoStar announced last week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has "dismissed Tivo's petition to vacate EchoStar's re-examination of Tivo's patent. In the decision, the Director of the Central Re-examination Unit of the PTO specifically found that 'the references of record may be used to find that a substantial new question of patentability is present, [and] the decision of the [PTO] examiner has not been shown to be in error' in granting EchoStar's re-examination petition," DISH and EchoStar claimed. "The PTO's decision clears the way for the re-examination to continue, which we believe will result in a Final Office Action invalidating the software claims of Tivo's patent. These software claims are the very same claims that EchoStar was found to have infringed in the contempt ruling now pending on appeal." Finally, TiVo also released its second-quarter financial results last week. The company's earnings release is available here.
  • Time Warner Cable and Verizon last week separately announced plans to test implementations of the so-called "TV Everywhere" delivery model (note: the "TV Everywhere" model seeks to make programming that pay-TV customers have already paid for through their cable, satellite or IPTV subscriptions available to those customers on multiple platforms, and thus aims to head off the threat posed to pay-TV services by the increasing availability of over-the-top programming--for more background, see the articles published on itvt.com, April 30th, May 14th, June 25th and July 15th). Time Warner Cable's announcement is available here, and Verizon's here. Satellite TV provider, DirecTV, is also believed to be working on an implementation of TV Everywhere.
  • Yelp.com has launched an augmented reality app for the iPhone in the Apple App Store. In what may be an attempt to circumvent the fact that the iPhone does not currently officially support AR (version 3.1 of the iPhone OS will), the app is in fact an "Easter egg." According to blogger, Robert Scoble, the app is activated as follows: "You shake your iPhone 3 times. That activates a feature called Monocle. A message should come up if you activated it. A blue box will come up saying 'the Monocle has been activated.' It will create a button in the top right corner. Now you should be able to look at the bars, restaurants, etc. Only works on iPhone 3GS." Mashable's coverage of the new app, including screenshots and video, is available here.

 

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