updated 12:41 pm EDT, Sun June 3, 2012
Cisco claims TiVo unfair in licensing its patents
Cisco has filed a complaint against TiVo, alleging that the DVR maker will not grant broad licenses to its technology because such licenses would decrease TiVo's leverage with regard to patent lawsuits. The suit claims that TiVo is wrongfully alleging that Cisco's DVR offerings constitute violations of patents TiVo holds. Analysts familiar with the proceedings contend that a victory for Cisco would represent a significant financial burden for TiVo.
Recent months have seen TiVo's fortunes take a negative turn, as the company posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss of $20.8 million due to its operating costs having more than doubled. Revenues for the DVR maker rose 48 percent to $67.8 million in the quarter.
Cisco markets its own DVRs through Scientific Atlanta. Those devices are sold to companies including AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. In its suit, Cisco seeks an order invalidating TiVo's patents or alternately a statement that Cisco's DVRs are not in violation of TiVo's patent portfolio.
TiVo has been engaged in patent struggles with a number of other companies. Last year saw Dish Network and its parent company EchoStar paying $500 million to settle a patent lawsuit with TiVo; and the company also revealed in an SEC filing this year that it had filed a suit against Motorola and Time Warner for allegedly violating its patents on simultaneous DVR recording and watching, among other technologies.