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U.S. ITC rules in favor of TiVo over Comcast in patent dispute

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Nov 2017 7:55 User comments (5)

U.S. ITC rules in favor of TiVo over Comcast in patent dispute U.S. international trade body has prohibited Comcast Corp from importing types of set-top boxes in a patent dispute with Rovi Corp (now TiVo).
The ITC has prohibited the import and sale of Rovi's Xfinity X1 set-top box models that specifically violate two patents. It does not apply to legacy hardware that does not.

"Today's Commission Opinion reinforces the need for Comcast to take the necessary licenses to our IP," Rovi said in response to the commission's findings.

Comcast has confirmed it will appeal the body's decision. The ban could be overturned by U.S. President Donald Trump during the Presidential Review period.

Source: Reuters News Agency

Tags: Tivo Rovi
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5 user comments

122.11.2017 10:30

Good for Tivo. While their DVR tech has become irrelevant, or at least drowned out from the other similar and equally as effective DVRs out there, they are truly the absolute undisputed champions of DVRing..........PERIOD.

Software is flawless, layout is ideal and perfect, folder arrangement is also perfect.

It's just too bad that I have to pay out the wazoo for a Tivo box above and beyond my DirecTV Genie 2/Genie system and that's just not worth it.

222.11.2017 18:11

Quote:
The ITC has prohibited the import and sale of Rovi's Xfinity X1 set-top box...
Talk about confusing! I thought Xfinity was Comcast and Rovi was Tivo...if Rovi and Xfinity are the same company, then Rovi, Tivo, Xfinity, and Comcast are all the same company. Did they sue themselves to block the import and sale of their own products? I know corporate logic can be very strange, but I just can't see how this would benefit them...couldn't they just stop selling the X1? Why the court case?

323.11.2017 12:29

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Quote:
The ITC has prohibited the import and sale of Rovi's Xfinity X1 set-top box...
Talk about confusing! I thought Xfinity was Comcast and Rovi was Tivo...if Rovi and Xfinity are the same company, then Rovi, Tivo, Xfinity, and Comcast are all the same company. Did they sue themselves to block the import and sale of their own products? I know corporate logic can be very strange, but I just can't see how this would benefit them...couldn't they just stop selling the X1? Why the court case?

Comcast owns the "Xfinity" imprimatur, but NOT Rovi/TiVo. Comcast's use of TiVo set-top boxes is simply a big corporate agreement, not an actual merger or anything of that sort.

427.11.2017 14:19

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
Quote:
The ITC has prohibited the import and sale of Rovi's Xfinity X1 set-top box...
Talk about confusing! I thought Xfinity was Comcast and Rovi was Tivo...if Rovi and Xfinity are the same company, then Rovi, Tivo, Xfinity, and Comcast are all the same company. Did they sue themselves to block the import and sale of their own products? I know corporate logic can be very strange, but I just can't see how this would benefit them...couldn't they just stop selling the X1? Why the court case?

Comcast owns the "Xfinity" imprimatur, but NOT Rovi/TiVo. Comcast's use of TiVo set-top boxes is simply a big corporate agreement, not an actual merger or anything of that sort.


I second this notion as it's correct.

529.11.2017 0:11

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
Quote:
The ITC has prohibited the import and sale of Rovi's Xfinity X1 set-top box...
Talk about confusing! I thought Xfinity was Comcast and Rovi was Tivo...if Rovi and Xfinity are the same company, then Rovi, Tivo, Xfinity, and Comcast are all the same company. Did they sue themselves to block the import and sale of their own products? I know corporate logic can be very strange, but I just can't see how this would benefit them...couldn't they just stop selling the X1? Why the court case?

Comcast owns the "Xfinity" imprimatur, but NOT Rovi/TiVo. Comcast's use of TiVo set-top boxes is simply a big corporate agreement, not an actual merger or anything of that sort.
It's still very odd that there would be a lawsuit because a Rovi box being purchased from Rovi uses patents owned by Rovi.

A bit of research and I found the answer...the boxes ARE NOT Rovi boxes. They were developed by Comcast in-house. They don't say Rovi on them, they don't say Rovi in any screenshot I've seen either. The interface is similar...but then the media center from Windows Vista also has a similar interface. Comcast stopped paying royalties to Comcast about a year ago because they were not offering Rovi equipment anymore...so Rovi sued.

I really hate to take the side of Comcast, but basically Rovi sued (and won) based of the idea that an app on a phone can be used to control another device...it's the rounded rectangle patent all over again.

It's nice to see Comcast hurting in theory...but cases like this just shred the already terrible patent system and ultimately do more to hurt small companies that just want to do something that is common sense and prior art than they do against a giant corporation like Comcast.

For example, when I design something rectangular, I now have to dimension the drawing with two corners at 90.00000000001 degrees and two at 89.99999999999 degrees (usually with +-0.5 degree tolerances) just so I don't have to worry about infringing on an Apple patent (even if the edges are razor-sharp, anything made of Atoms has rounded corners). If I want it to be controlled by a phone, now I have to avoid scheduling any type of recording...in spite of the fact that the idea of scheduling recordings goes back far before the formation of Macrovision (who became TiVo, who became Rovi..and yes, they are THAT Macrovision), and also in spite of the fact that the idea of using one device to remotely access the built-in functions of another device (or especially an online service) is firmly in the public domain. Those are just two reasons why this patent would have been refused if I had filed it...but corporations get special treatment at the patent office.

At this point it seems a large corporation can patent anything regardless of if it is already public domain, and that the courts will uphold their patents. The whole point of patents is to encourage new development...not to penalize those who are doing that development. Even a if Comcast had won this, it would still be a clear message to the little guy: design anything and some patent troll can come along and sue you...and you won't be able to afford to defend yourself (and even if you can afford the lawyers, there is no guarantee you will win even against the most insane troll) so you better either stop selling your product or pay the extortion.

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