COMCAST Loses IP Theft Case to TiVo

Comcast, the telecom giant that owns NBC and MSNBC, has lost a case that alleged the company deliberately stole intellectual property from TiVo for its cable boxes. The case, one of three brought by TiVo against Comcast before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), was decided last Thursday. Another case was won by TiVo before the U.S. Court of Appeals earlier in the year. In its determination, the ITC ruled that Comcast must face “(1) a limited exclusion order prohibiting the entry of infringing digital video receivers and related hardware and software components; and (2) cease and desist orders directed to respondents.” The latest ITC legal setback for Comcast will hit the telecom giant’s customers, as it means they will lose a valuable feature of their viewing experience. Comcast has been forced by the courts to remove valuable search features from its products, at a time during a pandemic when more customers are using their product than ever before. Despite having now lost two out of three cases bought by TiVo, Comcast does not appear to be changing course. Comcast might be betting on the fact that companies like TiVo might not have the stomach to see this fight through to the end – but in TiVo’s case, they just need to win one more case. Comcast-owned broadcasters are known for their liberal bias. Earlier this year, President Trump derided MSNBC as “MSDNC,” and called NBC “worse than CNN.” “And Comcast, a company that spends millions and millions of dollars on their image… I’ll do everything possible to destroy their image because they are terrible. They are terrible. They’re a terrible group of people,” said the president at a rally in February. Last month Andrew Surabian, the former special assistant to the President, praised the crackdown on Comcast’s IP violations in a column for Fox Business. “Far from merely putting the writing on the wall for Comcast’s other future IP decisions, the federal court’s opinion also represents a significant economic victory for all U.S. workers and innovators,” Surabian said. “It will ensure that no company can deliberately jump through hoops to avoid IP law, which almost assuredly would have become a recurring trend should Comcast been allowed to set the precedent.”

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