Is TiVo’s Patent Win Against Comcast Also a Win for Consumers?

After the recent breakthrough in the patent case between Qualcomm and Apple, another closely-watched patent dispute saw an important development Tuesday when a judge for the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that cable-giant Comcast’s receivers infringe on patented technology, and if Comcast wants to offer some DVR features to its customers, it must pay licensing fees to the patent holder, TiVo.

TiVo’s Rovi Corporation provides DVR, parental controls, and search functions to cable companies, which pay licensing fees to TiVo in order to provide those features to their customers. While Comcast paid to license the patent for over a decade, and every other major cable and satellite company licenses the patents, Comcast decided in 2016 to stop paying the licensing fee but continue using the technology.