Microsoft Sues Tivo to Help Out AT&T

Part of TiVo's survival strategy, with miserable subscriber numbers, is to make everybody pay for DVR patents—winning Echostar was just the beginning. Microsoft, whose Mediaroom software powers AT&T's U-Verse, said eff that, and just sued Tivo.

TiVo sued AT&T, alleging that its U-Verse IPTV service violates three of their DVR patents. Since it's Microsoft's software TiVo's talking about, Microsoft asked to jump into the case on Jan. 15, and is now suing TiVo over two patents relating to a system that programmable info, and a secure method for buying video content. Basically, what'll happen here is that Microsoft will agree to drop their suit if TiVo drops theirs, and maybe a few coins will change hands, but everybody will go home mostly unscathed. Well, probably, anyway. [Bloomberg, ZatzNotFunny]