Microsoft Challenges TiVo DVR Technology Claiming Patent Infringement

Microsoft filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington D.C. Monday seeking to halt the importation of DVRs and television set-top boxes that contain the allegedly offending technology.

The giant software vendor also filed a similar complaint in a civil lawsuit against TiVo in federal court in Seattle.

The latest legal actions are on top of an ongoing lawsuit Microsoft filed against TiVo in California claiming seven counts of patent infringement in Tivo products. That suit stems from a broader TiVo vs. AT&T patent infringement case in which Microsoft is an intervener.

Microsoft's latest complaint filed with the International Trade Commission charged that TiVo violated patents on technology related to program schedules and selection, controlling the interface, and a way to restrict use of a DVR based on a program's rating, according to a Bloomberg story. Microsoft said those technologies are part of its Mediaroom software that run on competing set-top boxes, including AT&T's U-Verse service, the story said.

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The complaint said TiVo uses the technology in its TiVo Premiere XL, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL products.

A Microsoft spokesman said his company and TiVo are in discussions to resolve the case, according to a Reuters story. "We have a strong and robust patent portfolio that we will vigorously defend against Infringement," the story quoted Kevin Kutz, director of public affairs at Microsoft. "However, we remain open to resolving this situation through an intellectual property licensing agreement and we look forward to continued negotiations with TiVo."

Officials at Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo could not be reached for comment.