Microsoft has filed a U.S. trade complaint that, if approved, would ban TiVo from importing set-top boxes into the U.S., Bloomberg reports. However, the legal scuffle isn't likely to result in that.
"We have filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington against TiVo Inc. for infringement on four Microsoft patents," Microsoft said. "We have a strong and robust patent portfolio that we will vigorously defend against infringement. It is our responsibility to protect our customers and partners and to safeguard the investments we make to bring innovative products and services to market. However, we remain open to resolving this situation through an intellectual property licensing agreement, and we look forward to continued negotiations with TiVo."
In other words, Microsoft is performing a bit of legal posturing here and it's more likely that the two sides will come to some sort of an agreement as opposed to banning TiVo imports outright.
According to Bloomberg, the four patents in question involve program schedules and selection, controlling the interface, and a way to restrict use of the DVR based on the program's rating.