TiVo has always maintained that it owns most of the important
patents that deal with DVRs. Verizon this week agreed — or at
least Verizon’s lawyers said it would be better to settle with
TiVo rather than to take the risk of going to court where a
loss could scuttle its FiOS pay TV.
Verizon has agreed to pay TiVo at least $250.4 million to end
a law suit over the DVR technology. Verizon will make an
initial cash payment of $100 million, then $150.4 per quarter
$150.4 million through July 2018. It will also pay monthly
license fees for every Verizon DVR subscriber beyond a pre-set
In effect, the cases were settled on the courthouse steps
because the trial was to start in a Texas courtroom on October
Verizon also agreed to pay ActiveVideo more than $260 million
for video-on-demand related patents.
Had the case gone to court and had TiVo won, Verizon might
have been forced to remove its DVRs from subscribers’ homes.
Verizon and its FiOS pay TV service could hardly have survived
that event. It has 4.5 million FiOS pay TV subscribers.
There were three patents in dispute. The most important one
was the time warp patent that lets users record a show while
watching another show. The same patent was key in a seven-year
lawsuit in which TiVo came out ahead last year with Dish.
TiVo still has active patent lawsuits against Google’s
Motorola Mobility, Cisco and Time Warner Cable.
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