TiVo TRIES PLAYING THE PATENT CARD: In recent years, TiVo has been hounded by competitors, seeking to take a bite out of the innovative company's DVR technologies. The market has been speculating that TiVo is all but doomed to be sold to a media/electronics giant such as Sony and Time-Warner by year's end, due to the stiff competition.
In response, TiVo has been rolling out some interesting new features for their services, and have been placing a greater emphasis on their patent portfolio as a possible precursor to becoming a licensing entity.
However, as is often the case, convincing the market that your patent portfolio has significant value is a difficult and complicated process. Taking into consideration that TiVo's portfolio hasn't been seriously tested yet in the courts, many pundits have been left speculating just how powerful the patents really are. One research analyst commented:
"It's hard for us as outsiders to look at how much value there is in the patents . . . everyone is thinking about this from the perspective of whether or not TiVo can license the patents or whether or not TiVo can effectively keep competitors at bay because of their intellectual property. We are all curious."
The PVRBlog took a quick look at one of TiVo's newest patents, and correctly noted that the patent bears an uncanny resemblance to a feature described in Microsoft's Windows Media Center. Is a showdown ahead? If so, it will be a doozie . . .