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Microsoft Sues TiVo Over Patents

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Six months after TiVo sued AT&T (NYSE: T) for patent infringement, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has entered the legal fray. In a filing, Microsoft asks to be a party in the suit because it says the case puts into question its Mediaroom software, which runs on set-top boxes that use AT&T’s U-verse subscription service (TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO) alleges that U-verse is infringing on three of its patents).

Microsoft is also suing TiVo for infringing on two of its own patents, including one for a “system for displaying programming information” and another related to the “secure purchase and delivery of video content programs,” according to another filing. A Microsoft spokesman tells Bloomberg that the company is “open to resolving this situation through an intellectual-property licensing agreement, and we have initiated discussions to engage TiVo in negotiations.”

TiVo, unsurprisingly, does not think Microsoft should be suing it for patent infringement — or should be involving itself in the AT&T litigation. Here’s the company’s full statement: “Microsoft’s recent legal actions, including its decision to seek to intervene on behalf of its customer, AT&T, and its recent complaint against TiVo in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California do not bear on whether the AT&T products and services that are the subject of TiVo’s complaint infringe the patents asserted by TiVo. Rather these actions are part of a legal strategy to defend AT&T. We remain confident in our position that AT&T will be found to infringe on the TiVo patents asserted.”