Federal Circuit affirms ITC import ban on Comcast X1 STBs

Monday, March 2nd, 2020
TiVo Corp logo

Federal Circuit Affirms International Trade Commission’s Import Ban on Comcast X1 Set-Top Boxes

SAN JOSE, Calif. — TiVo Corporation (NASDAQ: TIVO) today announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of the company in its ongoing dispute with Comcast. The Federal Circuit affirmed the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) jurisdiction and their decision to ban the importation of Comcast’s set-top boxes that infringe Rovi’s patents.

“The Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s Final Determination and what we at TiVo have known for years – Comcast infringed Rovi’s patents and its business is subject to the ITC’s jurisdiction. This ruling maintains the ITC’s import ban against Comcast’s set-top boxes and showcases the strength of Rovi’s battle-tested patent portfolio,” said Arvin Patel, executive vice president and chief intellectual property officer at Rovi Corporation, a TiVo company. “We understand the value of our patented technology and why Comcast has relied on it heavily since launching its X1 platform. But Comcast cannot continue to use Rovi’s patented technology without paying for a license. We are hopeful today’s announcement will encourage Comcast to put their customers first and license our IP just as the other top 9 U.S. Pay-TV providers do.”

In June of 2019 Administrative Law Judge MaryJoan McNamara of the ITC determined, following a second ITC investigation, Comcast violated U.S. trade laws because it infringed yet another Rovi patent related to its content search function and recommended that the ITC ban imports of some Comcast X1 set-top boxes.

On May 23, 2019, the ITC instituted a third investigation into Comcast’s infringement of additional Rovi patents. The trial in this third investigation took place in January 2020 in Washington, D.C., and a final decision is expected in Q4 2020.

Background Information

  • TiVo’s IP Licensing Business continues to build on a strong, diverse base of customers and in Q4 reported 16% year-over-year revenue growth.
  • TiVo has a worldwide portfolio encompassing thousands of patents.
  • The portfolio covers a wide variety of everyday media experiences, including key technologies to the Xfinity X1 experience.
  • TiVo has patents in the following areas: Advertising, Analytics, DVR, Guide, Search and Rec, Interactive TV and apps, AR/VR, Multi-screen, parental controls, VOD/OTT, Social Media, Sports, Personalization, and Voice.
  • In November 2017, the ITC issued a final ruling that Comcast had violated Rovi patents resulting in a “limited exclusion order” that forced Comcast to remove popular features from their product that their competitors who pay the license have access to.