Skip to main content

TiVo gets sued by Cisco over unlicensed DVR patents

Cisco Systems sued TiVo over what it says is TiVo's failure to license four of its DVR-related patents.

Cisco alleged Wednesday that TiVo has resisted granting a broad license for its technology because it would interfere with TiVo's ability to bring, and ultimately settle, lawsuits over its patents, which are a key source of revenue, Reuters reported.

A Cisco spokeswoman said the TiVo suit, filed on Wednesday, is Cisco's effort to defend its DVR products and customers against TiVo's aggressive strategy of wrongfully asserting its patent claims.

Cisco wants the court to declare four of TiVo's patents invalid and find that Cisco does not infringe on them, Cisco told Reuters.

TiVo, known for its user-friendly recording and smiley TV logo, sells its own DVR boxes and licenses its technology to cable TV operators, including Charter Communications, DirecTV, and Virgin Media. Cisco sells DVRs through Scientific Atlanta to AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications, among others.

Both companies' involvement with nationwide cable television providers could lead to significant ramifications throughout the industry, ZDNet warned.

A TiVo spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit.

This isn't TiVo's first patent turf war, having previously battled Dish Network and EchoStar, Microsoft, Motorola and Time Warner Cable, and AT&T over the last few years.