Tivo company Rovi filed eight new patent infringement lawsuits against Comcast over its X1 platform, a key component of the provider's pay-TV and OTT strategy.
In its lawsuits, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Rovi alleges that Comcast's X1 "infringes technology invented and patented by Rovi," according to today's press release. Rovi claims features such as restarting live programming while it's in progress, advanced DVR recording features, advanced search and voice capabilities, and resuming shows on different devices are owned by Rovi Corp.
"Hundreds of media and entertainment leaders around the world recognize the value of our innovations by selecting our products and services and licensing our intellectual property," said Enrique Rodriguez, TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) president and CEO, in the release. "Our goal is for Comcast to renew its long-standing license so it can continue providing its customers the many popular features Rovi invented."
To more effectively compete against over-the-top providers, cable operators increasingly leverage their DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber investments to deliver enhanced capabilities via set-top boxes, such as Comcast X1. The set-top box also is a door into subscribers' smart home investments; the combination of existing relationship with households and ability to deliver IoT-enabled entertainment as part of these connected home solutions is a powerful tool for cablecos.
Simultaneously, as more consumers cut the cord, watch shows via apps or use cablecos' on-demand capabilities, Tivo is seen as less relevant in some circles. Its licensing arrangements are, therefore, critical.
Tivo also plans to file more legal actions related to the Comcast X1 and patents: These include a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that will prevent Comcast from importing more X1 set-top boxes into the US. In November 2017, the ITC ruled against Comcast, stating the provider infringed two Rovi patents and issuing an exclusion order that bars the importation and sale of relevant X1 boxes.
In that November lawsuit, ITC ruled Comcast's X1 platform infringed Tivo patents that allow users to use an app to schedule recordings. ITC determined Comcast did not infringe upon four other patents at that time. In response, Comcast opted to remove the scheduling capability, something only few subscribers had adopted, it said. This step allowed Comcast to continue offering the X1 platform to subscribers during its appeal.
For 13 years, Comcast licensed Rovi's patents but when the deal expired and the cableco opted not to renew it in March 2016, Tivo began suing the operator. The contract was valued at $250 million, Tivo said.
Tivo filed the lawsuit on the same day analysts released their earnings forecasts for the company. When averaged together, four analysts expect Tivo will report $241.7 million in revenue for the current quarter compared with $279.42 million in the year-ago quarter, reported The Ripon Advance. On the high end of the average, revenue forecast came in at $317.4 million; on the low end, at least one analyst predicted revenue of $206 million for this period.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Fiber optic cable vendor Prysmian Group is now shipping its FlexRibbon Technology-based, US-sourced and made 6912 fiber MassLink Cable to service providers seeking densification for 5G or solutions for filled ducts.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!