Microsoft creates legal triangle with TiVo-AT&T over DVR patents

Microsoft sues TiVo in a move that comes to the defense of AT&T, which is being sued by TiVo.

In what's become an ugly triangle of legal disputes over DVR patents, Microsoft has filed suit against TiVo, a move that appears to be more about defending partner AT&T, which is being sued by TiVo in another suit.

Did you catch all that? Here's a bullet-point breakdown:

  • TiVo has sued AT&T and Verizon alleging that their video services illegally use TiVo's time-warping technology in their DVR products.
  • Microsoft's Mediaroom product is used on AT&T's U-Verse service.
  • Microsoft alleges that TiVo uses portions of two Microsoft patents in its products or components without a license, according to Bloomberg.
  • Microsoft says it can work out a licensing agreement with TiVo but TiVo says such an agreement won't change its position on the AT&T suit. Microsoft also asks the court to allow it to intervene in the TiVo-AT&T case.
  • Microsoft sues TiVo, alleging that the DVR maker "illegally uses technology related to purchasing and delivering video and the ability to display programming information," according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Microsoft has not tried to intervene in the TiVo-Verizon suit. Verizon's FIOS TV services does not use Microsoft's Mediaroom technology.