TiVo Corp.’s patent troll subsidiary, Rovi Corp., announced a pair of new tech licensing suits targeting Comcast’s X1 platform today.
Rovi said Comcast is infringing on its patents with features that let X1 users pause shows on one device and resume them on another. It also accuses Comcast of failing to license technologies for “DVR recording features, and advanced search and functionality.”
This latest Rovi suit follows an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in November siding with the tech company in another suit accusing Comcast of violating patents to create the remote recording features in X1. Comcast has since disabled those capabilities. The cable company has said that less than 1% of its customers use the feature and that it will be restored following the conclusion of its ITC appeal.
Rovi actually filed two suits: One in a California federal court and another in Massachusetts. Rovi said it will also file another complaint with the ITC.
“Through decades-long investment in research and development, Rovi has created innovations that delight consumers in their day-to-day entertainment experience,” said Enrique Rodriguez, president and CEO of TiVo in a statement.
“Our commitment to our customers and stockholders compels us to protect these valuable inventions from unlicensed use,” Rodriguez added. “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. Our goal is for Comcast to renew its long-standing license so it can continue providing its customers the many popular features Rovi invented.”
For its part, Comcast concedes that it used to license technology from Rovi for older generation analog pay TV set-tops. But Comcast said its now ample research and development team is entirely responsible for current-generation X1 technology.
“Comcast engineers independently created our X1 products and services, and through its litigation campaign against Comcast, Rovi seeks to charge Comcast and its customers for technology Rovi didn’t create," Comcast spokesperson Jennifer Khoury said in a statement emailed to Fierce this morning. "Rovi’s attempt to extract these unfounded payments for its aging and increasingly obsolete patent portfolio has failed to date. And as we have in their other suits, we will continue to aggressively defend ourselves.”
The current incarnation of TiVo was formed two years ago, when Rovi purchased TiVo for $1.1 billion.
Last month, TiVo announced the expansion of its multiyear patent deal with Altice USA, allowing the cable operator to use the tech vendor’s Personalized Content Discovery technology in its new Altice One whole-home broadband and video system.