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Old 06-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
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Cisco sues Tivo

Interesting:

http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderd...d=yahoobarrons

Don't really see that Cisco has a point here. Of course it is the U.S. legal system we are talking about so who knows?
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Interesting ploy but I'm with you: where does it say that any company has to license it's patents to some other company? Then again, I think I have some Cisco stock so, GO Cisco!
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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I really hope Cisco loses this. What is the incentive to have patents if a court can tell you what to do with them?
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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lately I've been reading a bit that there's some sort of legal concept of 'necessary patents'. And that companies that hold them need to license them fairly.

The context I've seen mostly seems to be Motorola holding back stuff from MS and others in europe. So not sure if that's an American legal concept or just EU. (think these "essential patents" of late are necessary to build a cell phone and/or to stream video)

(I think the concept is that if you couldn't possibly make a DVR without a license from TiVo then the concept would apply. TiVo hasn't lost in court yet so I guess one might be able to say that you couldn't do it- but from the comments here it seems it is possible otherwise)
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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googles and read some more- looks like i was wrong above.

sounds like the gist is Cisco is arguing that tivo keeps "wrongly" suing cisco's customers. The implication is that the customers wrongly settle with TiVo. So Cisco wants a court to rule that their boxes dont infringe on TiVo's patents (either by declaring them void or by saying that Cisco does otherwise) so Cisco can stop Tivo from suing other customers.

At least that's what the articles seemed to be saying...
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #6
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Also: Cisco may be considering buying TiVo. They've made some boneheaded acquisitions in the last few years.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:45 AM   #7
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lately I've been reading a bit that there's some sort of legal concept of 'necessary patents'. And that companies that hold them need to license them fairly.

The context I've seen mostly seems to be Motorola holding back stuff from MS and others in europe. So not sure if that's an American legal concept or just EU. (think these "essential patents" of late are necessary to build a cell phone and/or to stream video)

(I think the concept is that if you couldn't possibly make a DVR without a license from TiVo then the concept would apply. TiVo hasn't lost in court yet so I guess one might be able to say that you couldn't do it- but from the comments here it seems it is possible otherwise)
Sort of.

Motorola's patents are part of a standard created by the 3GPP. In other words, to implement a cell phone, you must license the patents as they're an integral part of the standard. Because of this, Motorola has agreed they will license those patents to anyone who asks under Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. If Motorola did not agree to this, the standard would be created so that Motorola's patents will not be required. Since it's in Motorola's interest to have their patents in the spec, they agree to these terms.

Likewise, all patents involved in standards are under this - as it's impossible to implement the standard without violating the patent. Other standards include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, DOCSIS, DSL, DDR (memory).

That's what essential patents are - you cannot comply with the standard without those patents, so you must be able to license those patents.

TiVo's patents however aren't part of a standard. They may be necessary in order to implement a DVR, but since there's no standard, TiVo's not under any obligation to license patents to anyone. It's what led to the TiVo/ReplayTV patent lawsuits a decade ago, that ended by both companies cross-licensing each other's patents (since both companies realize that they need each other's patents).

Even FRAND patents can have issues over the meaning of the words.

I think Cisco's problem is that they're not willing to pay what TiVo wants - they probably were paying it and are now looking for a way to eliminate a BOM cost.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #8
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Wouldn't Cisco's patents have come from the Scientific Atlantic acquisition?

ETA: I guess it depends on the patents in question. Cisco has a LOT of patents.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #9
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Kind of interesting given the primary manufacturer of hardware for the Virgin TiVo.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #10
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Kind of interesting given the primary manufacturer of hardware for the Virgin TiVo.
Philips?
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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Philips?
Hint: Whose logo is that in the middle:


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Old 06-02-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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Hint: Whose logo is that in the middle:

I canít make out the logo, but Philips was brought in by VM because Cisco could not keep up with the demand. Also, I think there another box builder in EU that also is building Tivo boxes.

I think Cisco suing now because more cable companies are using TiVo. Comcast allowing VOD on the TiVo now put Comcast in a better bargain deal with Cisco. Comcast can now demand to pay less money for each crappy Cisco box and if Cisco tune Comcast down then Comcast will just replace them with Tivo boxes. This would be a big win for TiVo.

Also, everything points to Verizon losing their law sues against TiVo. Speculation is that unlike AT&T, Verizon is more likely to offer TiVo boxes instead of then writing a big payout to TiVo.

I think Cisco running scared.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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Does Comcast use SA/Cisco hardware? I've primarily seen moto. AFAIK the Virgin units are Cisco and Samsung.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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Does Comcast use SA/Cisco hardware? I've primarily seen moto. AFAIK the Virgin units are Cisco and Samsung.
Yes, it could be Samsung, not that it really matter who build the box. It would have to be built to Virginís and TiVoís spec.

It one cool looking box, wish Virgin could buy out Cox and/or Comcast.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
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Does Comcast use SA/Cisco hardware? I've primarily seen moto. AFAIK the Virgin units are Cisco and Samsung.
I have to add Google now own Mot DVR division and they donít want it. Last I read Google is trying find a buyer for the Mot DVR division. If no buyer is found, Google will probably just close down the DVR division.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #16
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Kind of interesting given the primary manufacturer of hardware for the Virgin TiVo.
I think that also part of the law sues, Cisco want to license TiVo patents, but TiVo will only license the patents if the boxes are built to TiVoís spec, with TiVoís software running the box.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #17
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I have to add Google now own Mot DVR division and they donít want it. Last I read Google is trying find a buyer for the Mot DVR division. If no buyer is found, Google will probably just close down the DVR division.
it's more then the dvr it's the whole set top division.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:22 PM   #18
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I have to add Google now own Mot DVR division and they donít want it. Last I read Google is trying find a buyer for the Mot DVR division. If no buyer is found, Google will probably just close down the DVR division.
Why? I would think this would be a fantastic business for Google. They have been trying to get into living rooms for a very long time and haven't done very well. Motorola is already in the living rooms of millions of households. Do they think they have little chance of designing the box they want because of the cable companies?
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #19
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Does Comcast use SA/Cisco hardware? I've primarily seen moto. AFAIK the Virgin units are Cisco and Samsung.
depends on the headend.

Not sure if they "prefer" moto or not but the gist i get is they cobbled together tons of systems and it's cost prohibitive to switch from one vendor to another. So if it was a SA system it stays SA (now cisco) and if it's moto it stays moto (now google i guess?)
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:58 PM   #20
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Why? I would think this would be a fantastic business for Google. They have been trying to get into living rooms for a very long time and haven't done very well. Motorola is already in the living rooms of millions of households. Do they think they have little chance of designing the box they want because of the cable companies?
there's all sorts of speculation on the net- general gist is they really only want the patents and might keep them but will sell off the hardware. But Also there's newer guesses that they might wind up keeping it.

I can't see them shutting it down- someone will pay something for the business even if it's just for the hardware. Pace comes to mind- they seem to pick up whatever scraps that moto and SA/cisco allow them to eat.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:43 PM   #21
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Why? I would think this would be a fantastic business for Google. They have been trying to get into living rooms for a very long time and haven't done very well. Motorola is already in the living rooms of millions of households. Do they think they have little chance of designing the box they want because of the cable companies?
From what I understand is that there not enough profit from the Mot DVR division to justify it. Google brought Mot for their cell phone patens.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:16 PM   #22
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"Cisco wants the patents that TiVo has alleged against Cisco to be voided." I don't understand that statement that was in the original article.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #23
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"Cisco wants the patents that TiVo has alleged against Cisco to be voided." I don't understand that statement that was in the original article.
Barron's does a very bad job of summarizing a Reuters article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...85010320120601

Quote:
(Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc has filed a lawsuit to void four TiVo Inc patents related to digital video recorders, escalating a battle over who has the right to profit from sales of the popular machines.

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:05 AM   #24
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IOW, Cisco wants TiVos patents to be declared a standard so that they will be forced to offer them to other entities? (For a fee, of course.)

If that's the case, then screw 'em. TiVo owns/came up with the patents, so they should be able to do with them as they see fit.

If I came up with an idea for a new light bulb that will last 25 years, should I be forced to share the idea with all light bulb manufacturers, or should I have a choice in who I work with?

Probably a bad analogy but I hope you get my point.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #25
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It looks like Tivo is suing Cisco right back.

http://techlaw.justia.com/2012/06/04...-infringement/
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:13 PM   #26
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Which I'm sure Cisco is happy about since it was their goal to force TiVo to attack them directly instead of going after their customers one by one. I wonder why Google has not used this tactic to counter Microsoft's attacks on Android customers.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #27
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The Android handset builders have all(?) taken licenses. There's nothing for Google to fight.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:39 PM   #28
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The Android handset builders have all(?) taken licenses. There's nothing for Google to fight.
If Google knows the patents being asserted they could still pre-emptively bring a suit against Microsoft to have them voided. That may be the catch, Barnes & Noble's initial response to Micosoft's strong arm tactics illustrated how Microsoft is playing a shell game with the patents allegedly being infringed.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by lillevig View Post
Interesting ploy but I'm with you: where does it say that any company has to license it's patents to some other company? Then again, I think I have some Cisco stock so, GO Cisco!
Up by 0.18 (1.12%) Good luck

Quote:
""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""
Wonder where this is going. Maybe, Cisco is planning to acquire TiVo

Right?"
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #30
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...



Wonder where this is going. Maybe, Cisco is planning to acquire TiVo

Right?"
The more I think about it I believe Cisco just wants TiVo to give them a license (thereby shielding Ciscoís customers) . Even if itís at the same rate as ďeveryone elseĒ itís a better deal that Cisco has a license then each of their customers needing to get one. Ignoring the annoyance to their customers thereís always the chance the captive customer will go rouge and actually make a deal with TiVo if they have to interact with TiVo.

Seems so far Tivo sues the pay tv provider and not the STB maker. So far all this suing (or threats of suing) has forced the larger providers to either pay A) tivo the license fee directly (dish or ATT) or B) switch to TiVo (crickets chirping) or C) do some sort of license while also working with TiVo to let it be an option (Directv, Comcast, Cox, etc).

TiVo probably would prefer B but the lawsuits don't seem to wind up there. Next best thing is C for TiVo. With option A being their worst move for TiVo since it doesnít get TiVo into any more homes.

If you are a STB maker like Cisco you want to avoid B and C and will probably put up with paying a license fee like in option A if that needs to be.

Itís much better for Cisco to ensure the license only is the outcome- so thatís why I figure they sued tivo to try and get a license themselves, then the TiVo license applies to all the providers that Cisco sells to so thereís no possibility of a provider making a deal with TiVo for option B or C. No chance of someone already dealing with Cisco to look elsewhere
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