Cisco sues TiVo over DVR patents

Looks to have patents voided so infringement is not an issue

Cisco is suing TiVo over DVR patents TiVo claims Cisco is infringing on.

According to Reuters, Cisco has filed a lawsuit to void four TiVo DVR patents that Cisco says TiVo is wrongfully alleging infringement of. Cisco says TiVo has resisted granting a broad license to its technology because it would rather gain revenue from settling infringement lawsuits, according to the Reuters story.

"Absent a declaration of invalidity and/or non-infringement, TiVo will continue to wrongfully allege that Cisco DVRs and Cisco's customers infringe the TiVo patents, and thereby cause Cisco irreparable injury and damage," Cisco said in a statement to Reuters.

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Cisco sells DVRs through its Scientific Atlanta cable set-top box business. TiVo sells its own set-top boxes and licenses technology to cable TV operators.

Cisco sued in the federal court in San Jose. It seeks a court order that voids the TiVo patents or declares that Cisco and its DVRs are not infringing them, according to Reuters.

A TiVo spokesperson said the company could not comment on the Cisco suit.

In addition to acquiring Scientific Atlanta and its intellectual property in 2005 for $7 billion, Cisco is acquiring NDS for $5 billion. NDS is a maker of software designed to create pay TV video offerings that enable subscribers to view, search and navigate digital content on any device.

NDS products include set-top/DVR, program guide and digital-content software, and video headend systems. Customers include cable and satellite TV providers.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 25 years, 21 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy

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