Everyone has stolen an idea or a joke from someone. Apparently, TiVo is under fire for infringing on AT&T and Verizon’s patents in their interface. There are three patents that have been violated: multimedia time warping system, system for time shifting multimedia content streams, and automatic playback overshoot correction system. While this pretty much means nothing to me as well as many other subscribers, just from the words you know that this is a big deal.
It’s a fine line that the companies walk. One the one hand, they want their interfaces to be user friendly. But on the other, they want them to be unique as well. It is virtually impossible to make customers happy with TiVo interfaces that are used to Verizon interfaces, and vice versa. You can add a dash of this and dash of that, but when it comes down to it, the recipe is pretty much the same. These law suits are plain stupid. It wastes time and resources of each of the companies and the only ones that win in this case are the lawyers. I bet they’re not saying much because they’re too busy counting their money.
Microsoft has now jumped into the melee with another suit against TiVo saying that the company is infringing on their patents. Everyone sues everyone, you pay them, you pay them. It’s just an endless circle of legal fees and payments and all it does is create negative press for TiVo. Maybe that’s the whole point, an indirect smear campaign that TiVo is unoriginal. But seriously, who doesn’t like their little avatar and the familiar blip?
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