The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued an "office action" Monday rejecting two claims in TiVo's Multimedia Timewarping System (better known as the DVR) patent, the centerpiece of its legal battle with EchoStar.
According to the PTO, its preliminary finding rejects TiVo's patent Claims 31 and 61.
Claim 31 describes "a process for the simultaneous storage and play back of multimedia data." The claim discusses how TiVo's DVR captures video from a broadcast source, stores it in its hard drive, and allows users to play it back at their convenience.
Claim 61 is similar to Claim 31. It describes "an apparatus for the simultaneous storage and play back of multimedia data." The claim discusses how the TiVo handles stored shows and gives users the ability to control them on the device.
The patent itself, which features more than 60 claims, is a blueprint for how TiVo's DVR works. It discusses an "invention (that) allows the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program. A preferred embodiment of the invention accepts television (TV) input streams in a multitude of forms, for example, National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) or PAL broadcast, and digital forms such as Digital Satellite System (DSS), Digital Broadcast Services (DBS), or Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC)."
The patent goes on to explain how TiVo streams content through MPEG video. It gives users the option to put the video into "reverse, fast forward, play, pause, index, fast/slow reverse play, and fast/slow play."
The PTO's preliminary finding is important for EchoStar. It gives it some breathing room as it moves forward after a series of missteps.… Read more