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TiVo files suit against rival Sonicblue

The DVR company files a lawsuit against its competitor--part of an ongoing feud between the two companies over the nascent digital video recorder market.

TiVo is aiming to protect its digital video recorder turf.

The San Jose, Calif.-based DVR company filed a lawsuit against rival Sonicblue on Jan. 23 alleging that Sonicblue infringed on a broad patent TiVo received in May of last year.

The patent, which TiVo filed for in 1998, is described in the patent application as an "invention allowing the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program."

The suit is part of an ongoing feud between the two companies over the nascent digital video recorder market. Both companies are competing for licensing partners as well as consumers.

Ken Potashner, Sonicblue chairman and chief executive, believes TiVo's suit is in response to a suit filed by Sonicblue in December and is unwarranted.

"We think TiVo's suit against Sonicblue was filed in an effort to respond to the patent infringement suit we filed against them over a month ago," Potashner said in a statement. "We believe that we do not infringe on the patent named in TiVo's suit."

Sonicblue, based in Santa Clara, Calif., received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Dec. 3 of last year covering 50 claims for developing devices that can pause and play back televisions shows. Sonicblue filed a lawsuit against TiVo the day after receiving its patent.

TiVo is seeking an injunction against Sonicblue as well as damages, according to Sonicblue.

TiVo spokeswoman Rebecca Baer said the suit against Sonicblue is the first that the company has ever filed and was in accordance with their efforts to protect their patent portfolio.