Microsoft is dropping its patent lawsuit against set-top box maker TiVo, in which Microsoft had complained of not only copyright infringement, but had also threatened a ban on importing TiVo’s hardware and software into the U.S. And TiVo has agreed to drop its suits against Microsoft, as well.
For background, following TiVo’s win of $100 million from Echostar/DISH, it went after AT&T and Verizon, alleging their services illegally used its “time-warping” technology in their DVRs. However, because AT&T’s U-Verse television service is powered by Microsoft’s Mediaroom, the Redmond-based company stepped in to countersue in 2010, claiming TiVo was infringing on a patent Microsoft owned, including, specifically:
a system that displays programmable information and a secure method for buying and delivering video programs.
(Nope, not overly broad at all.)
When that suit alone didn’t have enough punch to it, Microsoft added to it in January 2011, with a second complaint (and more patents) that could have led to a ban on TiVo’s ability to import into the U.S.
Microsoft had filed suits in both Washington and with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the matter. The judge was scheduled to release his findings in the ITC case next month. Maybe neither side liked what he was going to say, and decided to figure things out themselves. Imagine that.
On Thursday, both sides agreed to drop their lawsuits. A patent stalemate, perhaps. In regulatory claims, TiVo said it didn’t grant patent rights to Microsoft and agreed to drop its claims. Microsoft then did the same.