SonicBlue sues TiVo

ReplayTV owner gets bolshie over patents

SonicBlue has followed up on its threat to sue TiVo by filing a patent infringement suit against the digital video recorder company.

Ken Potashner, SonicBlue's CEO, threatened TiVo with legal action earlier this week after his company announced it would like to talk to its rival about licensing opportunities.

Two weeks ago, SonicBlue - via its ReplayTV subsidiary - was granted a broad patent covering almost every aspect of recording TV programmes digitally on a hard drive-based unit.

TiVo said it wasn't interested in talking to SonicBlue, which then threatened to sue. TiVo clearly hasn't changed its stance, hence the writ.

TiVo said it was "disappointed" by its rival's action and slammed the legal action as little more than an attempt to use the law to "build visibility for its company". It said it would "take appropriate and rational legal steps to protect our technology".

That technology includes two patents that, also recently granted, that cover techniques employed by SonicBlue, so we'd be surprised if TiVo doesn't launch a counter-suit against its enemy. The result: both will soon tire of the cost and settle out-of-court, opting to license each other's intellectual property. ®

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