AT&T, Verizon File Patent-Infringement Counterclaims against TiVo

Last August (see the article published on itvt.com, August 31st) TiVo--whose six-year-old patent infringement lawsuit against DISH Network and EchoStar appears to be approaching its final conclusion (see the article published on itvt.com, March 29th)--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").

Now, in its 10-K annual report, which was filed with the SEC Wednesday, TiVo has revealed that the two telcos have both filed counterclaims against it. "On February 24, 2010, Verizon answered our August 26, 2009 complaint and Verizon asserted counterclaims," the 10-K states. "The counterclaims seek declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of the patents we asserted against Verizon in the August 26th complaint. Additionally, Verizon alleged infringement of US Patents: 5,410,344 ('Apparatus and Method of Selecting Video Programs Based on Viewers' Preferences'), 5,635,979 ('Dynamically Programmable Digital Entertainment Terminal Using Downloaded Software to Control Broadband Data Operations'), 5,973,684 ('Digital Entertainment Terminal Providing Dynamic Execution in Video Dial Tone Networks'), 7,561,214 ('Two-dimensional Navigation of Multiplexed Channels in a Digital Video Distribution System'), 6,367,078 ('Electronic Program-Guide System with Sideways-Surfing Capability'). On March 15, 2010, Verizon filed an amended answer further alleging infringement of US Patent No. 6,381,748 ('Apparatus And Methods For Network Access Using A Set Top Box And Television'). Verizon seeks, among other things, damages and a permanent injunction. On March 17, 2010, Verizon filed a motion to transfer the proceedings to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey...On March 12, 2010," TiVo's 10-K continues, "AT&T Intellectual Property I, LP, and AT&T Intellectual Property II, LP ('AT&T') filed a complaint against us in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for infringement of the following four patents: US Pat Nos. 5,809,492 ('Apparatus and Method for Defining Rules for Personal Agents'), 5,922,045 ('Method and Apparatus for Providing Bookmarks when Listening to Previously Recorded Audio Programs'), 6,118,976 ('Asymmetric Data Communications System'), and 6,983,478 ('Method and System for Tracking Network Use'). The complaint seeks, among other things, damages for past infringement and a permanent injunction."

As [itvt] reported in an article published on itvt.com, January 21st, earlier this year Microsoft filed a lawsuit against TiVo in a San Francisco federal court, claiming that the DVR company has infringed upon two of its US patents--which cover technologies for securely purchasing and delivering video and for displaying programmable information respectively. Microsoft's patent infringement lawsuit is viewed by many observers as an attempt on the company's part to come to the aid of AT&T, which happens to be the largest customer of its Mediaroom IPTV platform. (H/t Todd Spangler, Multichannel News.)

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