[mythtv-users] tivo patents cover mythtv?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Mon Mar 8 19:28:35 UTC 2010

On Monday 08 March 2010 12:17:02 pm Simon Hobson wrote:
> Jean-Yves Avenard wrote:
> >I have a double deck VCR letting me do just what Tivo claimed to have
> >invented: can record while watching another program..
> >
> >That device alone would be sufficient to make any appeal to the
> >verdict successful as it is anterior to the "invention" date.
> >
> >Stupid patents as usual...
> So you haven't read either the patent or any comments by people that have.
> I'll repeat, and this was said the first time around when this was
> discussed (ie when the suit was filed). The patent is NOT, I repeat
> **NOT** a patent on DVRs, or the ability to watch while recording, or
> to time shift. It's a fairly safe bet that even with the broken
> patent system currently in place, a wide ranging patent on the "PVR"
> would not be granted.
> The patent specifically claims a method for breaking the input stream
> into chunks, storing those chunks in buffers, and instructing the
> readout (ie playback subsystem) which buffers to play and in what
> order. All the time, the CPU merely direct the hardware as to which
> buffers to write/read and when - is the CPU can be a fairly low spec
> (ie cheap) one while the "heavy lifting" is done by application
> specific hardware.
> IMO Myth does not fall foul of this as it doesn't do that - it
> streams the data to a file and uses the CPU to handle the data, and
> it uses the CPU to read the data back from the file for playback.
> What will fall foul will probably be most consumer PVR appliances
> that will have used something similar to the process patented in
> order to not need a CPU capable of handling the data streams.

I believe the DVR offerings from the cable companies are paying royalties, 
while DISH is claiming their DVR-Receivers do not infringe, hence the suit 
against DISH and not the cable company offerings.

Cable companies don't pay out money lightly, if they saw fit to pay royalties 
they must believe the patent is valid, and their devices do invade the patent 

Of course DISH may have been told by their hardware suppliers that the DVR-
receivers do not infringe, so it may come down to a battle between DISH and 
their hardware maker. If "hold harmless" language is in that contract, they 
may have a point, and any settlement will be paid by the maker, after another 
group of attorneys makes another pile of money.

As usual, the only ones who come out ahead are the lawyers, who wrote all that 
crazy patent law in the first place.

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