[vdr] Tivo patent info

jori.hamalainen at teliasonera.com jori.hamalainen at teliasonera.com
Fri Mar 4 14:58:36 CET 2005

> > * U.S. patent number 6,847,778, entitled Multimedia Visual Progress 
> > Indication System, which describes, among other things, methods for 
> > displaying a trick play bar to a user which visually indicates the 
> > amount of stored program material or the length of a 
> recording session 
> > as well as the user's current position within the stored program 
> > material.
> This means we can't use a progress bar? How absurd.

(I am sorry I haven't uploaded english patent dictionary into my head, but
patent knowledge is there :)

- I am 100% sure there was programs earlier than TiVo's patent apply where
  such progress bar is available. Xing players in early 90's? This would
  void the patent or give first right use to products used that prior TiVo's
  apply date.
- If patent were OK, then countries/areas where patent has been applied and
  granted cannot use such feature => US VDR users cannot see progress bar
  without a license. 
  - Tivo has also right to first claim patent in EU, but if it hasn't done
    that EU users can use patented technology.
- But patent isn't automatic. You can use and build such features. Tivo has to
  start asking VDR communities for license fees. And after that battle begins.

NOTE: I haven't checked patent claims (what Tivo is actually claiming).

> > * U.S. patent number 6,792,195, entitled Method and Apparatus 
> > Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous 
> > Stream of Formatted Digital Data, which describes methods of 
> > controlling streaming media in a digital device, including the 
> > functions that enable DVRs to pause live TV as well as rewind, 
> > fast-forward, play, play faster, play slower, and play in reverse 
> > television signals cached by the DVR.
> So, now its too late. We can never have a replay buffer?  I 
> really wanted to implement that.

Again, was replay buffer published knowledge (on forum, mailing list etc) prior 
apply date by Tivo?

> > * TiVo has also acquired the exclusive right to license and enforce 
> > U.S. patent number 5,241,428 entitled Variable- Delay Video 
> Recorder 
> > known in the industry as the Goldwasser Patent. Filed in 
> March 1991, 
> > the Goldwasser Patent is one of the earliest patents 
> regarding digital 
> > video recorders of which TiVo is aware. This patent covers devices 
> > that permit the simultaneous recording and playback of 
> video material 
> > with a variable time delay between recording and playback 
> of a given 
> > video program segment.
> >  
> Doesn't VDR already do this as well? So, legally, we cant 
> record and playback at the same time? Ridiculous.

Patentwise this is the hardest thing for VDR to counter, and every other
recording/playback device because it is so old (1991). On the otherway,
patent would expire after 11 years.. :-)

I just want to remind open source communities, publish on mailing list new
ideas. That makes acquiring patents very hard (or if patent is given, then
it is easy to counter)! It is cheap, usually your monthly ADSL fee.. :-)
(Or you can patent it by yourself if you have the money, and sell licences
to Tivo to gain money).

Best regards, Jori

More information about the vdr mailing list