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PVR pioneer TiVo launches legal case against global media giant Comcast

PVR specialist TiVo, acquired by Rovi Corp in 2016, has launched a legal action in the US against Comcast, alleging that the global cable-to-content giant is infringing six of its technology patents with its X1 video recording hardware and software.

The claims are the latest in a long battle between the two companies that started in 2016 when a licensing agreement between the two came to an end. Prior to that, TiVo is reckoned to have secured around $250 million in revenues from Comcast over a 12-year period. TiVo says Comcast has been infringing its patents since the relationship ended, but Comcast says the tech it now uses was built in-house.

“We believe Comcast’s Xfinity X1 continues to infringe Rovi’s cloud and multi-room DVR patents – a vital component of home entertainment,” said Arvin Patel (pictured), executive VP and chief intellectual property officer at Rovi, in a statement. “Litigation is always a last resort but we will continue to take every necessary legal action to ensure that Comcast fairly compensates Rovi for its use of our patented innovations.”

In response, Comcast said: “Rovi has in recent years deployed its increasingly obsolete patent portfolio in an unsuccessful litigation campaign seeking to charge Comcast and our customers for technology Rovi did not invent. Rovi launched this campaign in April 2016 by asserting infringement of 15 patents – 14 of which have been held to be invalid and/or not infringed by Comcast, or have been withdrawn by Rovi. While we haven’t had an opportunity to review Rovi’s latest complaint, we will continue to defend ourselves against allegations we determine to be meritless.”