Suing For Patent Infringement No Replacement For Actually Building A Real Business

from the more-focus-on-executing,-less-on-suing dept

TiVo has been spending a lot of effort suing others for patent infringement, but apparently not very much on actually improving their own services and giving customers a reason to buy them over the competition. So while it may be winning some of its patent lawsuits, it hasn't helped much for the business, which is rapidly bleeding customers and losing marketshare. TiVo basically created this market and owned it for years -- but then got complacent. Now, since it can't compete, it's gone to a litigation strategy. Perhaps it should have focused more on providing value and competing rather than suing.
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Filed Under: business, dvr, infringement, patents
Companies: tivo


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    But now that most people are using proprietary digital cable and satellite services, TiVo is basically screwed. TiVo can only service people watching TV on those services at the discretion of the carrier. And let's face it, the carrier would rather rent/lease its own product.

    Incorrect. The Cable Industry adopted a standards-based decryption module called a Cable Card.

    The problem is that The Cable Industry also has a huge leasing business built around Cable Boxes. This helps them to show on their books a larger investment in Capital Expenditures, and cash flow based on those CapEx investments. Because of the sheer size of this market, Cable Providers can also negotiate larger discounts on lower-quality, TiVo IP infringing hardware.

    Fast Forward to Customer experience, and you'll see that a customer generally isn't excited about buying a $500 piece of hardware when they can lease something from the cable company for $5 a month.

    It's possible that TiVo can offer a device for, say $400 wholesale, plus the cost of de-encryption modules, add another $100. Whereas, a company like Motorola can sell a complete device for, say $250 wholesale.

    So what's the problem? Possibly the Cable Industry won't license de-encryption technology. This would have the ability to drive down the costs of their DVRs. In response, TiVo sues the companies that create knockoffs using thier DVR IP.

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