The Firm


TiVo: Lawsuit factory & target

Has there ever been so litigious a small company? I've joked for years that TiVo's primary business is suing people for patent violations, and the DVR thing is simply a nice side business that helps keep them respectable. I don't think it's a joke anymore.

Let's see legal settlements with Dish and AT&T. Recent lawsuit dismissal with Microsoft. Suing Verizon. Being sued by Motorola & now Cisco. Licensing deals (for good or ill) are likely the only reason they haven't sued Cox, Comcast, DirecTV. A Time-Warner lawsuit seems inevitable. Yet there's also the good points, like TiVo boxes being deployed by Virgin & RCN. Overlapping claims, overlapping defenses. I can't keep track! Like, once again, for the 10th time, someone is trying to have the TiVo time-warp patent thrown out as invalid. How many bites at the apple? And now Cisco is claiming there are antitrust-like violations being committed by TiVo because they won't license their patents-- but I thought that was the right of patent holders!

It's all spiraling ever further out of control. Where will it stop? And where is Nilay to explain it all.