Microsoft moves to block TiVo imports with U.S. trade complaint

By Tom Warren, on 24th Jan 11 10:38 pm with 2 Comments


Microsoft filed a U.S. trade complaint on Monday seeking to block TiVo from importing set-top boxes.

The move follows a legal spat between the two companies that began in January last year. Microsoft originally filed a lawsuit against TiVo, accusing the company of infringing on its video purchasing and delivery patents. The suit came just days after TiVo brought a lawsuit against close Microsoft partner, AT&T. Microsoft intervened in the AT&T case and also launched its own separate lawsuit.

AT&T’s U-verse systems uses Microsoft’s Mediaroom software and the company is seeking to protect its interests and prevent further action from competitors in the future. Microsoft’s action today could force TiVo to stop importing its set-top boxes in the United States according to the Bloomberg News agency, who first reported the complaint in a news wire on Monday. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed Microsoft’s U.S. trade complaint in an email to WinRumors on Monday. Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft, issued the following statement to WinRumors:

“We have filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington against TiVo Inc. for infringement of four Microsoft patents. We have a strong and robust patent portfolio that we will vigorously defend against infringement. It is our responsibility to protect our customers and partners and to safeguard the investments we make to bring innovative products and services to market. However, we remain open to resolving this situation through an intellectual property licensing agreement, and we look forward to continued negotiations with TiVo.”

WinRumors has obtained a copy of Microsoft’s complaint, filed by Mark G. Davis, Counsel for Microsoft. Here’s the juicy bits:

The violations that should be investigated include proposed respondent TiVo Inc.’s importation into the United States, sale for importation into the United States, and/or sale within the United States after importation of certain set-top boxes known as digital video recorders (“DVRs”) and associated software and hardware thereof as detailed below. The accused products infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,585,838 (“the ’838 patent”), 5,731,844 (“the ’844 patent”), 6,028,604 (“the ’604 patent”), and 5,758,258 (“the ’258 patent”), (collectively, the “Microsoft Patents”). The Microsoft Patents are valid and enforceable United States Patents, the entire right, title and interest in and to which Microsoft owns by assignment.

Microsoft seeks an order excluding TiVo’s infringing set-top boxes and associated software and hardware from entry into the United States and a cease and desist order or orders halting the domestic sale of infringing, imported set-top boxes and associated software and hardware.

Full PDF complaint embedded below:

Microsoft vs TiVo U.S. trade complaint

  • Anonymous

    I really hate these patent lawsuits, they’re so pointless.

  • SouthPaw42

    All of those patents should have not been issued. All have preexisting public disclosure by entities not Microsoft. Case closed.