Inventors sue Microsoft over Ultimate TV DVR

Microsoft has been accused of misleading a group of inventors over the development its Ultimate TV DVR system.

The inventors, who filed suit against the software giant, operated a joint venture called Intellivision. They charged in a suit in New York State Supreme Court that Microsoft misled them during negotiations to purchase intellectual property related to interactive TV technology.

Plaintiffs Bruce Adams, Paul Hoffman and John Daniels said executives of Microsoft told them that the company wanted their patents for defensive purposes only, and that Microsoft wasn’t planning to launch its own DVR system. Based on that information, the suit alleges, the group licensed its technology to Microsoft in 2001 under a deal that did not include royalty payments.

“One week after the parties’ agreement was fully executed, Microsoft launched a national advertising campaign for its Ultimate TV product,” the lawsuit charged.

In a procedural motion filed last week, InformationWeek reported, Microsoft asked to have the case moved from the state court to the U.S. District Court in New York.

The inventors are asking the court to nullify their licensing deal with Microsoft and are seeking unspecified damages. No formal legal response to the allegations has come from Microsoft.