Rovi’s TiVo division has filed additional lawsuits against Comcast over the US cable giant’s X1 platform, following a TiVo-favourable ruling by the US International Trade Commission in December.
In the new round, TiVo is alleging that Comcast is infringing on patents impacting key features in X1’s next-gen UX, like voice search, pausing and resuming shows on different devices, restarting live programming from the beginning when joined in progress, advanced DVR recording and various content discovery. All of these are considered significant differentiators for the operator’s Xfinity pay-TV service.
Comcast has maintained that X1, which it has licensed to other MSOs, was developed completely in-house by its engineers.
“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,” it said in a statement. “Rovi’s attempt to extract these unfounded payments for its ageing 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 suits were filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and they follow the ITC’s finding that Comcast violated two of TiVo’s patents for certain Xfinity X1 set-top boxes. As a result, Comcast will be prohibited from importing and selling the infringing gear. The import ban doesn’t apply to legacy Xfinity boxes.
“Today’s Commission Opinion reinforces the need for Comcast to take the necessary licences to our IP,” TiVo said at the time.
As for the latest filings, “The patents involved in the new complaints represent a very small component of Rovi’s worldwide patent portfolio,” said TiVo.