June 5, 2012 / 4:50 AM / 5 years ago

TiVo countersues Cisco as DVR patent battle heats up

The Cisco logo is displayed at the technology company's campus in San Jose, California February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

(Reuters) - TiVo Inc countersued Cisco Systems Inc in a court over alleged infringement of four patents relating to digital video recorder (DVR) technology, days after Cisco filed a lawsuit against TiVo to void those same patents.

TiVo, which sells set-up boxes that record and play back TV programs, is already fighting patent lawsuits against a number of companies that bought DVRs from Cisco.

Cisco sells DVRs through its Scientific Atlanta division to companies such as AT&T Inc, Time Warner Cable Inc and Verizon Communications Inc.

TiVo has resisted granting a broad license to Cisco’s DVR technology because doing so would impede TiVo’s capacity to bring -- and ultimately settle -- lawsuits over its patents, a key source of revenue, Cisco said in a complaint filed last week.

In the court filing, Cisco said TiVo has asserted infringement of its patents against Cisco customers including Verizon.

In January, TiVo settled a patent lawsuit with AT&T after the wireless operator agreed to pay the company at least $215 million as well as monthly licensing fees.

TiVo sells its own set-top boxes and licenses technology to cable TV operators including Charter Communications Inc, DirecTV and Virgin Media Inc.

TiVo had also asked the court that Cisco be ordered to pay compensatory damages to the DVR maker, court documents show.

The case is TiVo Inc vs. Cisco Systems, Case No. 2:12-cv-00311, U.S. District Court, Eastern District Of Texas, Marshall Division.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Ryan Woo

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