Over a year ago, in the midst of TiVo’s legal battle with AT&T over patents, Microsoft also filed suit against TiVo. This was seen as largely a move to support their customer, AT&T, which uses Microsoft’s IPTV platform for their U-Verse service which was the target of TiVo’s lawsuit. TiVo, in turn, filed a counter-suit against Microsoft, as it common in such matters.
Well, as we know, AT&T settled with TiVo in January. Yet the spat with Microsoft continued.
Microsoft even ratcheted things up after the settlement, filing a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking to block importation of TiVo units for sale within the US. EDIT: This was my bad – as I wrote this I was thinking the ITC complaint was filed in January 2012, when it was January 2011. The late hour probably had something to do with it, but either way I apologize for my mistake.
However, it seems that with the primary impetus for the fight removed both sides thought better of spending resources on the legal battles. In a terse SEC filing Thursday, TiVo announced that both sides had decided to dismiss their legal claims against the other. TiVo also explicitly stated that they’d granted no patent rights to Microsoft as part of the agreement:
On March 21, 2012, TiVo and Microsoft reached an agreement whereby Microsoft has agreed to dismiss all of its pending litigation against TiVo, including its action in the United States International Trade Commission and both of its cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In conjunction with these dismissals, TiVo has agreed to dismiss its counterclaim against Microsoft in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. No patent rights were granted to Microsoft by TiVo.
That seems to be all either side has to say on the issue, I couldn’t find any mention of this from Microsoft.
This is good news for TiVo, it removes the distraction of these legal issues. And they were always a sideshow to the AT&T suit anyway. TiVo only filed against Microsoft as a defense to Microsoft filing against them. TiVo’s strategy has always been to go after the service providers, like AT&T and Verizon, and not their technology providers. (EchoStar was an exception since that whole legal saga started before DISH Network and EchoStar split into separate companies.)