TiVo Granted 'Timewarping' Patent

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TiVo Inc. said the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the
personal-video-recording-technology company a patent for several elements that
cover PVR software and hardware design.

That patent, No. 6,233,389, is for a 'Multimedia Timewarping System' TiVo
originally filed in 1998. Among its inventions, the patent covers a
time-shifting method for recording one program while playing back another or
watching a program as it is recording; a method for processing and synchronizing
several streams in a digital signal, such as video, audio and closed-captioning;
and 'Trickplay' capabilities that allow viewers to pause a live TV show,
fast-forward and rewind digitally recorded video.

The USPTO has also issued a patent to TiVo for methods designed to embed data
within a TV signal to survive analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog
conversions, as well as hardware and software features related to its
partnership with DirecTV Inc., which markets a satellite receiver with an
on-board PVR.

And TiVo has applied for a patent covering the 'end-to-end' features and
functions of the company's PVR service.

'From the inception of the company, we have placed great emphasis on
developing and protecting our intellectual properties, including patents,
copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets,' TiVo chief technology officer Jim
Barton said in a press release.

TiVo's pause patent will come in handy considering news earlier this month
that PVR technology firm Gotuit Media Corp. won a contract to become the
exclusive marketing agent for Pause Technology LLC, a holder of a patent that
also enables viewers to pause live TV programs.

At the time, Barton noted that several live TV-pause patents exist, insisting
that TiVo has 'everything that we do covered.'

Prices for TiVo Inc. stock rose dramatically in heavy trading Thursday,
closing up more than 72 percent to $8.50 per share on the patent news.

After the market closed Thursday, the company also issued its first-quarter
earnings, reporting that it added 35,000 new subscribers to its PVR service.
Since the quarter ended, the company has passed the 200,000-subscriber mark,
TiVo said in a press release.

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