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Microsoft Sues TiVo To Help AT&T 168

Julie188 writes "Microsoft is suing TiVo, claiming patent infringement. Microsoft is doing this because TiVo has sued AT&T — and AT&T happens to be Microsoft's largest customer of Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology. Microsoft says that TiVo has copied Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology in its DVRs. If Microsoft wins, it would effectively block TiVo from selling DVRs without a licensing deal with Microsoft."
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Microsoft Sues TiVo To Help AT&T

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  • by amn108 ( 1231606 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:41PM (#30839104)

    You gotta love how companies have found exactly what to do with patent infringements - put them in a bag and keep them stored away well under room temperature until the right moment when these can be enjoyed - such as, at a time when they can be used to scare or threaten competitors or help achieve a goal. Patent infringement is not patent infringement until such time when it can be exploited to the limit.

    Humans are so damn smart it is scary.

  • Tivo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:48PM (#30839196)
    The ATT/Microsoft/Motorola DVR sucks giant donkey dicks. You can bet that ATT only wished they could use Tivo technology. We had Uverse installed and ended up using our Tivos downstream of the ATT DVRs, they sucked that bad. The smart thing would have been for ATT to license the Tivo design instead of the locked-down bogus Microsoft design.
  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:53PM (#30839258) Homepage

    Live by the patent, die by the patent...

    The same nonsense that allowed Tivo to run amok is now being turned back against it.

    None of these shenanigans should be tolerated by anyone at all.

  • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:59PM (#30839348)

    Devils Advocate.
    Hard to know if something infringes on your patent if you don't know the implementation.

    Tivo's lawsuit against AT&T gave Microsoft the groundwork necessary to compare how Tivo's system works in comparison to Microsoft's system. /Devils Advocate

  • Re:Tivo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:15PM (#30839548)
    a number of years ago, Microsoft paid AT&T $5 billion to use Microsoft's embedded OS in their STBs/DVRs. And the partnership was born. Of late, AT&T once again went with the least likely to succeed company, Microsoft, for their front to back solution for IPTV and Microsoft took them to the cleaners. Even Sun, with a server capable of handling thousands of video streams couldn't sell it to AT&T because the contract said it had to run Windows.

    Since this is all Microsofts stuff, a patent case against AT&T is really a patent case against Microsoft and hence we see Microsoft pulling out its guns in a classic Mexican Standoff. A large house of cards falls if Tivo is successful and because the AT&T/Microsoft IPTV stuff is just that, all Microsoft, it would be near impossible to get the Linux based Tivo into that rats nest. So I sure hope that the Tivo lawyers have an ounce of clue about that which they just entered.

  • Re:Hahaha, wow. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:20PM (#30839606)

    I'm not so sure its that funny.

    Isn't tivo just serving as a surrogate for Linux here? After all, I believe Linux is at Tivo's core.

    Does this not continue the chain started when Microsoft sued TomTom? Is it not a pattern of harassment of companies making money with a Linux core?

  • by horatio ( 127595 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:53PM (#30840710)
    I'm a former AT&T U-Verse customer, and a former TiVo customer. I switched to U-Verse from T/W because TimeWarner refused to provide adequate support for the CableCards they supplied in my TiVo - channels would randomly go missing causing difficulty or programs to record an hour of black. Had TiVo for years and loved it. Always explained it to people that I'm a tech/programmer who spends all day fighting with computers. I loved that I could come home and not fight with my TV (until the cablecards, that is).

    The U-Verse DVR *sucked*. If you pressed the "skip ahead" key at just the wrong interval, it would inexplicably jump to the end of the program with the "do you want to delete this?" prompt. To which I would invariably yell at the DVR "no you dumbass, I just wanted to skip ahead two minutes". The software, frankly was awful in a multitude of ways. I switched to DirecTV, and the DVR software is better, but still stinks compared to TiVo.

    For me as big of a fan as I am of Linux, etc it wasn't about the OS. It was about the user experience. The U-Verse DVR did stupid, unexplainable shit often enough that I cancelled it after a little less than a year.
  • by Lershac ( 240419 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @10:02PM (#30841248) Homepage

    Why yes. They did make a VCR with a computer, that also recorded and played back the recording while it was being recorded. And allowed relatively instant access to anywhwere within the video recording. And allowed one to pause live TV, and schedule the recordings intelligently with little hassle, and organize and display those recordings in an easy to use way.

    Oh I see now, its WAY FUCKING BETTER THAN A VCR.

    I have 3 HD Tivos, all lifetime subscription. They are the best entertainment dollar I have ever spent. I have tried everything, and these "just work"

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday January 21, 2010 @06:03AM (#30843920)
    The invented the DVR... That's not new or novel?

    Most patents look obvious after the fact, but someone has to be the first to invest their time and money to get there. I bet someone may have considered storing video to hard drive, but that's just one part of the puzzle. The whole pausing and rewinding live TV thing is pretty non-obvious by itself.

    The whole point of a patent is to encourage companies to innovate. Without the patent system no one would have invested money in the proto-Tivo people so they could spend a couple years on R&D to create the product, because some big name like Sony have copied it and made a slightly cheaper version in a month. Possibly even getting their product out first if some details leaked out early or there was some corporate espionage.

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