TiVo Inc. (TIVO:US) filed a lawsuit claiming that television set-top boxes made by Cisco Systems Inc. infringe patents related to digital-video recording services.
Cisco supplies equipment to companies including Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ:US) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC:US) The boxes, which have DVR functions, infringe TiVo’s patents, according to the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Marshall, Texas.
Cisco filed a preemptive suit against TiVo May 30 in federal court in its hometown of San Jose, California, seeking a ruling that it doesn’t infringe four TiVo patents.
TiVo, which pioneered the DVR market before rivals grabbed more customers, has waged more than seven years of litigation (TIVO:US) to get compensation for its inventions. The company provides DVR services to Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR:US) Legal costs are projected to create a wider loss this quarter than analysts expected, Tivo said last week.
Cisco knew of the patents and the infringement because it has been subpoenaed in TiVo’s patent suits against Verizon and AT&T Inc., TiVo said in the complaint. Dallas-based AT&T agreed to pay at least $215 million to settle its case, and Alviso, California-based TiVo got more than $500 million from Dish Network Corp. (DISH:US) in a suit first filed in 2004.
Cisco, in a e-mailed statement, repeated its comment on the suit it filed, calling it “an effort to defend our DVR products and our customers against TiVo’s aggressive strategy of wrongfully asserting its patent claims.”
The dueling suits set up a battle as to where the dispute will be heard. Trial in the case against Verizon could be held in October in Marshall, based on a joint schedule proposal submitted by the two sides yesterday.
The new case is TiVo Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO:US), 12cv311, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall). Cisco’s case is Cisco v. TiVo, 12cv2766, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose).
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