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Old 06-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #31
CuriousMark
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TiVo wants to license for a monthly royalty for each DVR in use. I suspect the Cisco's of this world want a one time license fee as part of the box sale. The business models for licensing between a hardware and service provider are very different. Somehow that also has to figure into all this.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:43 PM   #32
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TiVo wants to license for a monthly royalty for each DVR in use. I suspect the Cisco's of this world want a one time license fee as part of the box sale. The business models for licensing between a hardware and service provider are very different. Somehow that also has to figure into all this.
You think tivo Just wants to be a licensing company?

I think they want to get their boxes into the most homes possible so they can not be just a DVR provider (who's patents all expire in a few years) but rather can get into advertising, audience measurement, eCommerce, and the like.

If they just exist to get patent licensing fees for the next few years then they are spending an awful lot of money on doing things besides just paying lawyers.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #33
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You think tivo Just wants to be a licensing company?

I think they want to get their boxes into the most homes possible so they can not be just a DVR provider (who's patents all expire in a few years) but rather can get into advertising, audience measurement, eCommerce, and the like.

If they just exist to get patent licensing fees for the next few years then they are spending an awful lot of money on doing things besides just paying lawyers.
Of course not.

I just wanted to add one more reason to your list further above about why TiVo and Cisco may not have reached a licensing agreement. That added reason certainly would not exist in a vacuum. All your points are ones I agree with.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #34
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The Register wrote up a pretty good analysis of the situation:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06...vo_dvr_patent/
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:06 AM   #35
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My vote is for Cisco. One cannot expect any company to license its patents for other companies? That deal is quite unfair. Hen forth Cisco is pretty correct in suing TiVo.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:13 PM   #36
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My vote is for Cisco. One cannot expect any company to license its patents for other companies? That deal is quite unfair. Hen forth Cisco is pretty correct in suing TiVo.
Your joking?? TiVo has the right to license their patents to anyone at any price they choose.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #37
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Your joking?? TiVo has the right to license their patents to anyone at any price they choose.
Actually, surprisingly, that's not clear at all. Such actions may be deemed a violation of anti-trust laws. There's no law explicitly stating this and there's very little case law on this.

You can refuse to license to everyone, but it's not clear if you can refuse to license to one specific company if you've already given a license to others. You can set whatever price you want, but it's also not clear if you can charge wildly varying prices between the various companies.

This has been done in other industries in the past to shut out one specific company from an industry, but it never lasts long and they have almost always settled out of court. But getting together to shut out one company is collusion, which is generally illegal, but it's not clear if this specific method is collusion or not.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #38
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Actually, surprisingly, that's not clear at all. Such actions may be deemed a violation of anti-trust laws. There's no law explicitly stating this and there's very little case law on this.

You can refuse to license to everyone, but it's not clear if you can refuse to license to one specific company if you've already given a license to others. You can set whatever price you want, but it's also not clear if you can charge wildly varying prices between the various companies.

This has been done in other industries in the past to shut out one specific company from an industry, but it never lasts long and they have almost always settled out of court. But getting together to shut out one company is collusion, which is generally illegal, but it's not clear if this specific method is collusion or not.
Read the ARS link I posted. The government can only order licensing if a patent is part of a standard (for example 802.11g). That's called FRAND. TiVo doesn't fall under that category, but Cisco is suing to treat TiVo's patent as a standard. If Cisco wins, then TiVo would have to license their patents to all takers for a much lower price than what they can get currently.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #39
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My vote is for Cisco. One cannot expect any company to license its patents for other companies? That deal is quite unfair. Hen forth Cisco is pretty correct in suing TiVo.
Really? You should be forced to license your property? What if a bedroom in your house looks tasty to me?
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:04 AM   #40
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Really? You should be forced to license your property? What if a bedroom in your house looks tasty to me?
I agree let all get together and have the court force Martart to rent the house to us for a party each month for $1.00 a month.

I think Cisco went to TiVo to license the patents. I bet the exchange went like this:

Cisco: Hay TiVo we want to license your patents.

TiVo: Sure pay us $x.xx per month for any boxes you currently have in use and any new boxes you make.

Cisco: Oh gee that a lot money.

TiVo: Also any new boxes you build have to be to our spec and use our software.

Cisco: No way were going to sue you.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:23 AM   #41
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The Register wrote up a pretty good analysis of the situation:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06...vo_dvr_patent/
That was a good read. Thanks for the link
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:47 AM   #42
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The Register wrote up a pretty good analysis of the situation:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06...vo_dvr_patent/

Does TiVo still have the "poison pill" in place to prevent hostile takeovers?
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:33 AM   #43
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Does TiVo still have the "poison pill" in place to prevent hostile takeovers?
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.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #44
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Read the ARS link I posted. The government can only order licensing if a patent is part of a standard (for example 802.11g). That's called FRAND. TiVo doesn't fall under that category, but Cisco is suing to treat TiVo's patent as a standard. If Cisco wins, then TiVo would have to license their patents to all takers for a much lower price than what they can get currently.
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.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #45
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.............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.

They have to adhere to a standard. That sounds more like big trouble for Cisco if that happened.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #46
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They have to adhere to a standard. That sounds more like big trouble for Cisco if that happened.
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."
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #47
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.... 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.
....
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?)
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #48
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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?)
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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