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Microsoft Sues TiVo To Help AT&T

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the twisted-tale dept.

Businesses 168

Julie188 writes "Microsoft is suing TiVo, claiming patent infringement. Microsoft is doing this because TiVo has sued AT&T — and AT&T happens to be Microsoft's largest customer of Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology. Microsoft says that TiVo has copied Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV technology in its DVRs. If Microsoft wins, it would effectively block TiVo from selling DVRs without a licensing deal with Microsoft."

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168 comments

Microsnerf! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839018)

Microsnerf!

Re:Microsnerf! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839212)

why the hell is slashdot banning me? Posting this from TOR. bitches

Netcraft confirms it! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839368)

Maybe no one is banning no one but after 64.27.160.198 I can't access Slashdot either, can anyone pls check out? Last two hops are death.

Re:Microsnerf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839504)

WOW! Germans really love nasty porn, 90% of my connections pass trough them. Still waiting /. you biatches!

Hahaha, wow. (-1, Redundant)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839044)

I normally hate patent battles but this amuses me greatly.

Re:Hahaha, wow. (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839606)

I'm not so sure its that funny.

Isn't tivo just serving as a surrogate for Linux here? After all, I believe Linux is at Tivo's core.

Does this not continue the chain started when Microsoft sued TomTom? Is it not a pattern of harassment of companies making money with a Linux core?

Re:Hahaha, wow. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839788)

Tivo a surrogate for Linux? Bullshit. Tivo's abuse of GPL loopholes is what prompted the changes to GPLv3.

Re:Hahaha, wow. (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839902)

Well, so says Stallman, but Torvalds sees nothing wrong with that.

Besides, this is a nuance probably lost on Microsoft.

Re:Hahaha, wow. (3, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840716)

I'm not so sure its that funny.

Isn't tivo just serving as a surrogate for Linux here? After all, I believe Linux is at Tivo's core.

Does this not continue the chain started when Microsoft sued TomTom? Is it not a pattern of harassment of companies making money with a Linux core?

In a word, yes. Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) just gave a talk about this [lca2010.org.nz] not two hours ago at linux.conf.au in Wellington, NZ. He stated that this would likely be Microsoft's modus operandi against Linux and FOSS in the near future.

Here we go again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839048)

The gentlemens agreement never dies! They "fight" so we don't see what really goes on behind closed corporate doors.

Propz to GNAA.

Sure have been a lot of patent suits lately (2, Funny)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839066)

You launch yours, I'll launch mine, and the usual trolls will launch their own just because they can. With any luck, they'll cause enough chaos to bring the issue to light and bring us closer to IP reform.

Re:Sure have been a lot of patent suits lately (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839750)

What makes you think any of these companies want reform?
They love this game of Mutually Assured Destruction.
They end up cross licensing patents and it creates barries for upstarts.

More importantly, they have the money and the lobbyists to keep the game rigged in their favor.

Yes! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839100)

You go girl!

Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (5, Interesting)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839104)

You gotta love how companies have found exactly what to do with patent infringements - put them in a bag and keep them stored away well under room temperature until the right moment when these can be enjoyed - such as, at a time when they can be used to scare or threaten competitors or help achieve a goal. Patent infringement is not patent infringement until such time when it can be exploited to the limit.

Humans are so damn smart it is scary.

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (5, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839348)

Devils Advocate.
Hard to know if something infringes on your patent if you don't know the implementation.

Tivo's lawsuit against AT&T gave Microsoft the groundwork necessary to compare how Tivo's system works in comparison to Microsoft's system. /Devils Advocate

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839610)

Humans are so damn smart it is scary.

If humans were so smart, you wouldn't have to explain the golden rule to them.

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (2, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839840)

Not true. In a capitalist society the golden rule is: If it makes money and isn't illegal, do it.

If we're so proud about winning the cold war, how come we keep complaining about the precise thing that we were fighting for?

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839964)

So the precise thing the Cold War was fought over was "intellectual property" monopolies?

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840174)

You dropped one half of the rule, dummy.
1. If it makes money and it's legal, do it.
2.If it makes money and it's illegal, change the law.

Let's see what the Grand Nagus will say!

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840542)

Not true. In a capitalist society the golden rule is: If it makes money and we can get away with it , do it.

FTFY. :)

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840690)

Not true. In a capitalist society the golden rule is: If it makes money and isn't illegal, do it.

False. While lack of money often brings sadness, money can't buy happiness. The best you can do is rent it on an extremely short term.

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839620)

Room temperature?! Everyone knows that patent infringement suits are a dish best served cold.

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840306)

keep them stored away well under room temperature

Room temperature?! Everyone knows that patent infringement suits are a dish best served cold.

I think you need to re-read the parent post more carefully.

Re:Patent infringement is a nuclear weapon (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840390)

Except... that sleeping on your rights for that purpose gives them an affirmative defense against you: laches [wikipedia.org]

The person invoking laches is asserting that an opposing party has "slept on its rights," and that, as a result of this delay, that other party is no longer entitled to its original claim. Put another way, failure to assert one’s rights in a timely manner can result in a claim's being barred by laches. Laches is a form of estoppel for delay. ...

Laches essentially alleges prejudicial delay and unfairness in the context of a particular situation

Still.. even the threat of suing, and the legal fees might (in some cases) be enough incentive for the target to be persuaded to do what you want...

Which is it? (3, Insightful)

gregg (42218) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839114)

Is this an example of "the enemy of my friend is my enemy" or the beginning of "mutual assured destruction"?

Re:Which is it? (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839350)

MAD of AT&T and Microsoft?? Bring it on!! That could be a good thing.

Re:Which is it? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840216)

We could probably do without Tivo, in the long run. I mean, they may be competent, but they're competent bastards. Remember Tivoization?

Re:Which is it? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840724)

Fuck you, I support Tivo's legitimate use of GPL v2 code.

Re:Which is it? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841348)

Fuck you, I support Tivo's legitimate use of GPL v2 code.

I note that you don't support it enough to log in before you tell me 'fuck you'. The very definition of cowardice.

Re:Which is it? (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839446)

The beginning of mutally assued destruction. AT&T licensed the technology it is being sued over from Microsoft, so Microsoft would directly suffer if AT&T lost. As far as I'm aware, this is the first time Microsoft has actually sued anyone for patent infringement and it is doing so for defensive reasons.

Re:Which is it? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839672)

I like the MAD option. Someone push the button. I want to see the entire house of cards come tumbling down. And, let's pray that when the patents house of cards falls, it somehow undermines the copyrights house of cards too!!

clusterfuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839122)

Corporate America is one big clusterfuck

Re:clusterfuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839180)

Yeah - it is starting to seem that way.

Re:clusterfuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839826)

Here AC, fixed that for ya:

America is one big clusterfuck

Suing TiVo for delivering content ? (4, Funny)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839158)

Suing TiVo for delivering content ?

Next is Neanderthal suing them for using fire or a wheel ?

Re:Suing TiVo for delivering content ? (2, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840358)

It's Tivo that's suing willy nilly.

The latest legal salvo comes a few months after TiVo launched its own strike against AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), alleging that their video services illegally use its TV "time-warping" technology in their digital video recorders. AT&T's U-Verse TV service runs on Microsoft's Internet video technology.

AT&T declined to comment on Microsoft's legal actions.

TiVo hasn't been shy about using the courtroom to protect its intellectual property. The company also has a long-running dispute with Dish Networks Corp. ( DISH) and sister company Echostar Corp. (SATS) over the same DVR technology. The company has agreements with most of the cable companies and DirecTV Group Inc. ( DTV).

Re:Suing TiVo for delivering content ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840938)

Suing TiVo for delivering content ?

Next is Neanderthal suing them for using fire or a wheel ?

I took my Tivo apart once. Let me assure you, there were no wheels in there, and very little fire.

Re:Suing TiVo for delivering content ? (1)

Neanderthal Gronk (1726084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841426)

Who use fire? Gronk have patent on fire. Patent small number, like number of toes on Gronk's foot. Gronk sue all fire users! Only Gronk make fire!

Tivo (4, Interesting)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839196)

The ATT/Microsoft/Motorola DVR sucks giant donkey dicks. You can bet that ATT only wished they could use Tivo technology. We had Uverse installed and ended up using our Tivos downstream of the ATT DVRs, they sucked that bad. The smart thing would have been for ATT to license the Tivo design instead of the locked-down bogus Microsoft design.

Re:Tivo (1)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839328)

Uverse >> Tivo. With one dvr you can record anywhere and watch anywhere haven't checked out tivo in awhile but for just that functionality it is well worth it. The only drawback is the $5 per tv per month if you want separate boxes for each tv.

Re:Tivo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839484)

You can do with with Tivo's, including transfers to your computer (burning to DVD/iPod/x-device) and since I have two Tivo's I can record 4 HD streams at once. Several people in my office have U-Verse and none can do that.

Re:Tivo (1)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839592)

My parents have AT&T Uverse, it sucks. Unless it's changed in the last few months, you can't schedule recordings from any TV except for the one that the main box is connected to. Same with deleting recordings. You also can't pause or rewind live tv. These are all basic functionality that are missing, that every other DVR that I've seen supports.

Re:Tivo (1)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 3 years ago | (#30840014)

I don't know about deleting recordings, never have, but you can definitely set it to record from anywhere. You can't rewind/fastforward on a tv unless it is a recording or it is the dvr tv. This really isn't a problem for me, as I only watch recordings.

Re:Tivo (1)

jasno (124830) | more than 3 years ago | (#30840138)

Pausing and rewinding live tv still isn't supported, but scheduling and deleting recordings on satellite boxes has been available to us for several months now.

The biggest issue I have with the system is that it produces severe macroblocking every so often when I watch HD while recording HD. Other than that very serious defect, I've been really pleased with our experience.

Re:Tivo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839640)

With one dvr you can record anywhere and watch anywhere haven't checked out tivo in awhile but for just that functionality it is well worth it.

You're pretty new here, so I'll clue you in on a big secret about technology: it changes, often in the form of added features. I wrote that without even checking the TiVo site or knowing much at all about TiVo, but yes, you are an idiot. [tivo.com]

Re:Tivo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840242)

Uverse charge $5/month for a box?

I know I haven't paid a dime for my TiVo since 1994. Got a lifetime box.

Re:Tivo (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839518)

That's very interesting. When we got U-Verse (Nov 2008) I would have agreed with you. I decided to stick it out and within 3 months AT&T rolled out an update that improved the situation quite a bit. In fact they have provided quite a few improvements over the last year and most of the issues I originally had are long gone. The only issue I haven't tested since the updates is HDMI connections causing the box to randomly reboot. Both my HD sets only do up to 1080i anyway so Component is fine with me. I never got a TIVO since you couldn't pay me to go back to Comcast and the hoops needed to get it working on other platforms put me off.

On the topic of the lawsuit...SSDL

Re:Tivo (2, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839548)

a number of years ago, Microsoft paid AT&T $5 billion to use Microsoft's embedded OS in their STBs/DVRs. And the partnership was born. Of late, AT&T once again went with the least likely to succeed company, Microsoft, for their front to back solution for IPTV and Microsoft took them to the cleaners. Even Sun, with a server capable of handling thousands of video streams couldn't sell it to AT&T because the contract said it had to run Windows.

Since this is all Microsofts stuff, a patent case against AT&T is really a patent case against Microsoft and hence we see Microsoft pulling out its guns in a classic Mexican Standoff. A large house of cards falls if Tivo is successful and because the AT&T/Microsoft IPTV stuff is just that, all Microsoft, it would be near impossible to get the Linux based Tivo into that rats nest. So I sure hope that the Tivo lawyers have an ounce of clue about that which they just entered.

LoB

Re:Tivo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30841148)

You lying liar. Microsoft didn't "Pay" AT&T anything. They invested money in AT&T. There is a difference you neckbeard retard.

Re:Tivo (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841424)

Microsoft bought the stock directly from AT&T, so yes, they did pay them... directly. There is a difference, but it's largely semantic.

HOWEVER, this stock buy was in 1999, and the deal was with the old AT&T, not the current AT&T who used to be SBC before they bought the name. The old AT&T from which Microsoft bought $5 billion worth of stock is essentially now a chunk of Comcast, who bought AT&T's cable TV division. The $400 million dollar deal between Microsoft and AT&T for the Uverse infrastructure is wholly unrelated to the earlier deal.

Re:Tivo (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840810)

The ATT/Microsoft/Motorola DVR sucks giant donkey dicks.

Wouldn't this make a fantastic courtroom defense? I can just see it:

"Your Honour, We submit that Tivo lacks the defining characteristics of the allegedly infringed software. Our does not suck. We tried to make it suck as much as Microsoft's, but without access to their proprietary process for suckage, were unable to make our software suck in the same way as theirs. If the court will allow, I'll spend the next 6 days demonstrating just how much their software sucks, and ours doesn't."

Re:Tivo (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841206)

CASE FUCKING DISMISSED. Microsoft is held in contempt of the world, and must perform oral sex on everyone. twice.

Circular reasoning (2, Funny)

careysb (566113) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839216)

So, what happens if there is a set of law suits with a circular dependency and ALL plaintiffs win? Does that mean we lose?

Re:Circular reasoning (1)

japhering (564929) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839418)

So, what happens if there is a set of law suits with a circular dependency and ALL plaintiffs win? Does that mean we lose?

The only winners in this case will be the lawyers....

Re:Circular reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30841174)

That's the case here.

1) Microsoft is suing Tivo to help AT&T
2) Tivo is suing Echostar for similar DVR patent infringements
3) Echostar has a reseller agreement with AT&T where AT&T bundles Echostar DVRs and service.

It's almost a complete circle-jerk.

Re:Circular reasoning (2, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841442)

No, it means they cross license, and the only ones who lose are those third parties who wish to enter the same market and will now have to license both patents.

patents are the nukes of the software industry (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839240)

When one big software company sues another, the only possible outcomes are that either they all back down or they end in Mutually Assured Destruction. Most of the companies have patent portfolios as a deterrent only. I don't know what TiVo thinks they can accomplish with their North Korea strategy.

Re:patents are the nukes of the software industry (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841436)

You're missing a possibility, and one that's by far the most common resolution: They agree to patent swaps so they can use each others patents. That way when you or I try to break into the business all the large companies have a patent-enforced cartel to keep us out.

Hoist on their own petard... (5, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839258)

Live by the patent, die by the patent...

The same nonsense that allowed Tivo to run amok is now being turned back against it.

None of these shenanigans should be tolerated by anyone at all.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839438)

I think it's just a conspiracy by the lawyers to keep themselves employed. "Hey Fred, who can we sue this year that might have something sorta remotely similar in color to our latest gadget? We need something to keep our paychecks coming in and if we win we all get bonuses. What do ya mean the consumer might get screwed? We're lawyers, we don't care who gets screwed as long as it isn't us"

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (0)

Twench (580538) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839538)

Please tell me you are joking. This isn't the case of some Patent Troll licensing an obvious technology then sitting on it til someone develops it. Tivo is a company that built an incredible device that everyone wants to copy. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing a patent is meant to protect. AT&T stole Tivo's idea and is now making a profit on selling it, acting as a direct competitor to Tivo using Tivo's own patented ideas. If suing for patent infringement "should not be tolerated", what is Tivo's recourse?

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839618)

According to Tivo, they patented the ability to rewind a digital recording (and this is what they claim DishNetwork has infringed upon).

Seriously.

Why that hasn't been laughed out of court I'll never understand.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 3 years ago | (#30840134)

For the same reason is wasn't laughed out of the patent office in the first place ... the patent office are a bunch of assholes who rubber stamp any patent that ends in the words "... using a computer".

I mean seriously, prior art ?

A DVR is nothing more than a "VCR using a computer" ... you see how that magic phrase works now ?

Even in computer terms, the TiVo is not the first playback device that had a seek bar to rewind / forward-wind content to the desired position. This should never have made it out of the patent office's door (along with about another 100,000 software "innovation" patents each year).

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839688)

What exactly did tivo invent? Recording tv I did with a vcr, playback while recording is a simple as playing an mpeg2 into a file and then playing the file back while still writing to it. That last one is just a function of how real OSes handle files.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30841162)

Check out the abstract on the patent: http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT6233389

"The parser and event buffer decouple the CPU from having to parse the MPEG stream and from the real time nature of the data streams which allows for slower CPU and bus speeds and translate to lower system costs."

VCRs didn't have to encode and decode MPEG-2 streams in real time, and the PCs of the day couldn't come close to handling it either. TiVo made it work with a 54 MHz CPU and 16 MB of RAM. I'm still stunned by what they accomplished.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839802)

Tivo hardly invented the DVR concept. Its a natural extension of the ideas expressed by a VCR. The DVR was obvious to anyone with half a brain once we started getting enough processing power to deal with digital video effciently.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

horatio (127595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840766)

What TiVo brought to the table was a user experience so that was so friendly all those folks who couldn't set their VCR clock could figure it out, but was still flexible and powerful enough for some die hard techies like myself to really enjoy having it in the house.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841014)

As a person who had an ATI All-In-Wonder, before the TiVo ever got invented, I can tell you, it had the ability to schedule recordings from your TV and save them as an mpeg2 stream, and it had the ability for you to be playing that stream while it was still being written to, allowing you to pause, rewind, and fastforward live TV...So fuck TiVo, they didn't invent shit except the UI on top of it, and it's not that great.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (4, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840202)

Except Tivo wasn't a patent troll - they actually produced a best-of-class product that the courts agreed was being infringed on. I know patent litigation is unpopular (and for good reason), but Tivo appeared to be a case where it was Working As Intended.

We'll see with Microsoft, although the timing is certainly suspect.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840264)

But their patents are about as great as amazon one-click. Nothing they did was new or novel enough that it should have been patentable.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840304)

The same nonsense that allowed Tivo to run amok

Yeah. I mean, everyone and their brother was making PVR's before TiVo, and it's not like this invaded every single cable company in America or anything, or did anything at all to change how we watch TV as a nation...

Sorry, but TiVo's a great case of "well-earned Patent." You've just got your panties in a knot over the GPL v3 issue.

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840386)

For what?
Making a VCR with a computer?
What single thing did they actually come up with?

Re:Hoist on their own petard... (2, Interesting)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841248)

Why yes. They did make a VCR with a computer, that also recorded and played back the recording while it was being recorded. And allowed relatively instant access to anywhwere within the video recording. And allowed one to pause live TV, and schedule the recordings intelligently with little hassle, and organize and display those recordings in an easy to use way.

Oh I see now, its WAY FUCKING BETTER THAN A VCR.

I have 3 HD Tivos, all lifetime subscription. They are the best entertainment dollar I have ever spent. I have tried everything, and these "just work"

Microsoft VS. Al Queda (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839360)

Why doesn't al queda do some real damage and take on Microsoft and sue them for infringement of some kind. I'm sure Microsoft could sue them for somekind of infringement too. Think of the battle that might ensue. Might do us all a favor.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839424)

Embrace Communism and eliminate capitalism. This is a prime example of capitalism at work. Communism does not allow for imaginary property to hold back progress.

Re:Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840632)

Communism doesn't allow for imaginary property to hold back progress

Communism doesn't allow for property nor progress.

There, fixed that for you ;^)

Live Free or Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839460)

This is exactly why our computer products cost so much. Someone at the USPTO needs to revise operating procedure because patents are not only being used to protect technology but inhibit it or make it expensive.

I personally have nothing against Microsoft. If its the right tool for the right job, no issues. My gripe is that Microsoft used to be a innovator. Now it seems all they want to do is patent ideas or buy up old patents then sue the person for infringement. I personally believe this is why the computer science field is failing. We are no longer taught how to be innovative but rather double click on a icon.

Re:Live Free or Die (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841266)

Microosft does not and never has "innovated". They purchase the fruits of labor of innovators and slap their own names on it.

So now we know (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839512)

So, now we know how IP War I(tm) opens on Front #1 (Patents).

There will at sometime be a situation vital to two implacably opposed large opponents, who draw other companies in to the fray for their own interests. They will use Patents to attack. Kind of like all the treaties before WW I drew into two groups, except this will probably be a star configuration, (with the additional bonus of some companies possibly suing others on *both* sides).

I wonder how Front #2 (Copyright) and Front #3 (Trademark) will fare.

My bet is Trademark will be like Switzerland. Everybody wants to own their own rep/name.

I have no idea how a copyright war would start. Perhaps cross licensing schemes? Ah, perhaps not corp vs. corp? Maybe this war will be from human beings to corporations, defining just what is reasonable. that would be truly a guerrilla war. right now file sharing and the like is at most, civil disobedience.

Well, anyway, let's get some popcorn!

I wonder if there are any ms fanbois still left (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839540)

who will be able to come up and say microsoft is not in bed with corporations that are enemies of the new digital era, after this incident.

Re:I wonder if there are any ms fanbois still left (3, Insightful)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840372)

Typical foaming at the mouth anti-MS zealots, fail to read TFA and spreading FUD in knee jerk reactions.

It's Tivo that's the enemy of the new digital era.

It's Tivo that's suing willy nilly.

The latest legal salvo comes a few months after TiVo launched its own strike against AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), alleging that their video services illegally use its TV "time-warping" technology in their digital video recorders. AT&T's U-Verse TV service runs on Microsoft's Internet video technology.

TiVo hasn't been shy about using the courtroom to protect its intellectual property. The company also has a long-running dispute with Dish Networks Corp. ( DISH) and sister company Echostar Corp. (SATS) over the same DVR technology. The company has agreements with most of the cable companies and DirecTV Group Inc. ( DTV).

TiVo's suit against AT&T (1)

CoderJoe (97563) | more than 3 years ago | (#30839546)

So let me get this right... TiVo is suing AT&T (and has sued Dish and Echostar previously) claiming that they infringe on the "time-warping" feature of DVRs? The "pause live tv" feature? How exactly is this novel and unique once you get the video into the computer that runs the DVR?

Re:TiVo's suit against AT&T (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840220)

It may be innovative, but certainly not to grant a monopoly for 20 years. In case of this patent, 2 years, max.

Re:TiVo's suit against AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840440)

Indeed. 20 years was enough to see the VCR give way to the DVD, at least as far as pre-recorded content goes. Sure, there are DVD recorders out there, but not nearly as widespread as the VCR was. And now DVD is (slowly) giving way to both bluray and downloads (legally or not).

Re:TiVo's suit against AT&T (1)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840382)

Shhhh, we're hunting Ballmer's rabbits. Be quiet and don't be a party pooper by injecting truthful facts into the bashing.

Re:TiVo's suit against AT&T (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841280)

Um, because at the time no one had done it before and put it out to market?

If you come up with something and go to market with it, I hope someone treats you as badly as these companies have treated TIVO.

Ill sue you all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30839552)

I have a patented the act of recognizing letters organized into words. I hereby order you all to cease and desist from any further reading without first obtaining a license. If you desire to read said license, that will require an additional license.

Yeah, I've noticed (2, Funny)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840266)

My U-verse DVR is so much more usable than a Tivo because of all it's stupendous theft-worthy features.

As a former ATT U-Verse customer (2, Interesting)

horatio (127595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30840710)

I'm a former AT&T U-Verse customer, and a former TiVo customer. I switched to U-Verse from T/W because TimeWarner refused to provide adequate support for the CableCards they supplied in my TiVo - channels would randomly go missing causing difficulty or programs to record an hour of black. Had TiVo for years and loved it. Always explained it to people that I'm a tech/programmer who spends all day fighting with computers. I loved that I could come home and not fight with my TV (until the cablecards, that is).

The U-Verse DVR *sucked*. If you pressed the "skip ahead" key at just the wrong interval, it would inexplicably jump to the end of the program with the "do you want to delete this?" prompt. To which I would invariably yell at the DVR "no you dumbass, I just wanted to skip ahead two minutes". The software, frankly was awful in a multitude of ways. I switched to DirecTV, and the DVR software is better, but still stinks compared to TiVo.

For me as big of a fan as I am of Linux, etc it wasn't about the OS. It was about the user experience. The U-Verse DVR did stupid, unexplainable shit often enough that I cancelled it after a little less than a year.

Re:As a former ATT U-Verse customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30840792)

from T/W because TimeWarner

I think this is the first time I have seen someone use abbreviations first and then expand it. Using abbreviations through out, or more appropriately using abbreviations after a term and there on is so common; I had to post an off topic comment pointing this out.

Re:As a former ATT U-Verse customer (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30841310)

Thank jeebus that Cox in Baton Rouge seems to be cable card friendly... I have 3 TIVOs in teh house and am in TV heaven. I rarley watch, but when I do I can watch WHAT I WANT.

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