Google has filed a new patent infringement suit against Motorola and Time Warner Cable. TiVo is alleging the two companies are infringing on three patents that it holds having to do with DVR systems. The suit was filed in federal court in Texas and is a bit of retaliation over previous suit Motorola had filed against TiVo for patent infringement.
Motorola is a big provider of DVR systems to cable companies, which is where Time Warner comes into the picture. The three patents include Patent #6,233,389- “Multimedia time warping system,” Patent #7,529,465- “System for time shifting multimedia content streams," and Patent #6,792,195- “Method and apparatus implementing random access and time-based functions on a continuous stream of formatted digital data.” I'm certainly no patent savant, but those sound key to DVR functionality.
It's not clear when the case will be heard by courts. I hope suits like this don't eventually mean the DVRs most of us use from cable and satellite providers lose functionality. I'd wager if it comes down to it Motorola would simply license patents as AT&T did early this year.