TiVo Files DVR Patent Lawsuit Against Samsung

By Joseph Mandour on September 17, 2015

tv_remote_controlSan Diego – In its quarterly earnings report, TiVo announced it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung. TiVo, known for the creation of its digital video recorder, claims Samsung violated four of its patents. The patents relate to functions such as the ability to view a show while recording another and the ability to play a video smoothly at a faster speed.

The patents TiVo references for the lawsuit are, U.S. Patent No. 6233389 entitled “Multimedia Time Warping System” issued on May 15, 2001; U.S. Patent No. 6729195 entitled “Method and Apparatus Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous Stream of Formatted Digital Data” issued on September 14, 2004; U.S. Patent No. 7558472 entitled “Multimedia Signal Processing System” issued on July 9, 2009; and U.S. Patent No. 8457476 entitled “Multimedia Signal Processing System” issued on June 4, 2013.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
This lawsuit is one of many that TiVo has filed against other organizations in the past years, including lawsuits against Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, and Google. Each lawsuit resulted in either a win or a settlement in TiVo’s favor.

As DVR sales decline, the licensing fees that TiVo receives from various companies, including Google, Verizon, and AT&T, actually generate the majority of the company’s revenue. To date, TiVo has received around $1.6 billion from settlements related to its patents.

The patent that helped TiVo win past lawsuits, the ‘389 Time Warp patent’, is set to expire in 2018. Given the amount of revenue from licensing fees, and the use of the Time Warp patent to obtain these licensing fees, investors may view the expiration of the patent as a reason for concern as to future revenue. As such, the lawsuit, combined with the fact that it was announced in the quarterly earnings report, is viewed by some as a move to reassure investors of the company’s future profitability.

Regarding the lawsuit against Samsung, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in a statement, “Today’s action should help address one of the questions regarding the value, breadth, and applicability of TiVo’s IP portfolio post the 2018 expiration of the ‘389 patent (Time Warp)’.”

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Posted in: Patent Infringement