Legal Newsline

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Comcast loses appeal in patent infringement case over recording app

Federal Court

By David Beasley | Mar 25, 2020


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – A federal appeals court has ruled against Comcast in a patent infringement case involving technology that allowed customers to use their cell phone to schedule recordings.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on March 2 upheld a 2017 decision by the International Trade Commission in favor of Rovi, a company owned by Tivo that developed the technology used by Comcast. After the ITC ruling, Comcast stopped using the technology pending the appeal.

“The rulings and remedial actions of the [International Trade] Commission are in accordance with law, and the underlying findings are supported by substantial evidence,” the appeals court held.

“The Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s Final Determination and what we at TiVo have known for years – Comcast infringed Rovi’s patents and its business is subject to the ITC’s jurisdiction,” Arvin Patel, executive vice president and chief intellectual property officer at Rovi, said in a statement. “We are hopeful today’s announcement will encourage Comcast to put their customers first and license our intellectual property just as the other top nine U.S. Pay-TV providers do.”

In statement, Comcast, said the patents in dispute have already expired.

“The Federal Circuit Court’s ruling applies to expired patents that have already been invalidated by the patent office and therefore are irrelevant to what Comcast offers customers today,” the company said.

Comcast and Rovi have been engaged in patent disputes since 2016, when the royalty agreement between the companies expired. Last June, an ITC administrative law judge ruled Comcast violated U.S. trade laws by infringing on another Rovi patent and recommended that the ITC ban imports of some Comcast set-top boxes, according to Rovi.

The ITC in January held a trial on alleged infringement of other Rovi patents, with a decision expected this year, Rovi said.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit case number 18-1450

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit