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Cisco sues Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Welshdog, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. LoREvanescence

    LoREvanescence Always Autocorrected

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    Salem, MA
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
  3. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Last I had read, it was supposed to expire once the suit with Dish ended. I haven't heard anything about it since then, so it may not be in place.
     
  4. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    I read the article before seeing this thread actually. I'm not talking about FRAND at all. It's the last sentence in this statement I disagree with:

    "Apart from naming three other core TiVo patents, the other part of Cisco‘s claim is that TiVo is not playing fair in its licensing attempts, and is charging too much for its patents. Historically that‘s not credible."

    Actually Cisco has a case here if they can prove what I said in my previous post. Tivo needs to maintain fair pricing across all companies it's licensing with. It's an uphill battle for sure, mainly because most companies won't tell you what they're paying.

    I also disagree with the second half of this statement:

    "In the end NDS took a long time to get a DVR to work and TiVo never quite lost its hold at DirecTV."

    It did take a long time, but today Tivo is simply a niche product at DirecTV.

    The article is also wrong in a few other areas. DirecTV is offering Tivo service just because it's part of the licensing agreement. They don't really want to. Also, neither DirecTV nor Verizon DVRs record suggestions or have advanced searches, yet their customers aren't really complaining about it.

    I agree with the main point of the article. Cisco is just stalling until it acquires NDS, which will give it better leverage when dealing with Tivo.

    Tivo had better tread carefully. It'd be a shame if Cisco cable-cards suddenly developed a compatibility flaw that prevented them from working with Tivos.
     
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    They have to adhere to a standard. That sounds more like big trouble for Cisco if that happened.
     
  6. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    By the time that's figured out, the lawsuits will have been settled for a long time. Besides, the CableCard standard is a joke. If it were any decent, you wouldn't have all these compatibility problems. It's difficult to tell if the standards are not being adhered to or if they are poorly written. Actually, maybe Cisco doesn't have to do anything to sabotage CableCards.

    If Tivo is already having trouble with Cisco CableCards, this lawsuit gives Cisco even less incentive to fix those problems. They could be "working on it" for a very, very long time.

    Cisco could also suddenly have trouble producing cable cards, and Verizon might suddenly have trouble finding them as well, and wouldn't that be a shame.

    FYI, Tivo is doing the same exact thing with Motorola and Time Warner Cable. It's called "biting the hands that feed them."
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    not a lawyer so i have to ask- what is the basis of that? Who (or what law/regulation/bit of the constitution) says you ever have to sell anyone anything at any price? If private country clubs can still refuse to allow woman to join then why does Tivo have to license a patent under "fair" terms?

    And who decides what "fair" means?

    I was always under the impression that you can charge anyone anything you want and as long as the price variations aren't because someone is in a protected class then so be it. Is that not the case?

    For example, a developer can not charge a minority more to buy a house to try and keep minorities out of the sub-division. But if the first 10 houses happen to sell for 100k there's nothing that says the builder can't sell the last one for 200k. Or am i missing something?

    If not then how does an airline charge someone who buys a ticket $99 and the guy sitting next to them paid $400?


    (and obviously there's outliers like forming a monopoly and things like that- but TiVo is far from some dominant force making money hand over fist that those things apply- no?)
     
  8. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    I'm not a lawyer either, but I've been directly involved in two patent lawsuits.

    The Sherman Antitrust Act keeps patent owners in check. Since Tivo owns the patent, they have been granted a monopoly on that specific technology. This monopoly is granted certain protections under patent laws. These protections allow a patent holder to do some things that would otherwise not be allowed under the Antitrust Act. Some of those things are clear because they are explicitly defined by the laws themselves and case law, but some things aren't as clear.

    The two specific items I mentioned in the other posts aren't currently clear. Can you charge one company a royalty fee of $1/unit and another company $10,000/unit? Can you refuse to give a license to just one specific company while allowing their competitors to flourish? Aren't you then essentially dictating which companies will be allowed to compete with you? Or are you simply extorting that other company?

    Patents have been used in the past to exclude or get rid of specific companies from certain markets. Usually two or three companies own almost all of the IPR needed to implement a technology. (DVRs are no exception. DirecTV, Microsoft, and Tivo own most of the IPR needed for that.) So it is quite easy for them to get together and decide exactly who gets to compete with them. Except collusion is still illegal, even when patents are involved.

    Who decides what is fair and reasonable? A judge and a jury. Patents and lawsuits go together like peanut butter and jelly. I've co-written three patents and have had two lawsuits.

    Your airline and housing examples aren't the same as patent misuse, as those situations are covered under a different set of laws along with the Antitrust Act. I'll just repeat that a judge and jury generally decides what is fair, so if you don't like the price you paid you can always sue them.
     

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