Verizon will pay Tivo Inc. at least $250.4 million to license its digital video recording technology and settle a patent lawsuit. This is the third settlement that Tivo has reached in recent patent cases. In each of the cases, Tivo has alleged that companies have copied its DVR technology. Tivo, based in Alviso, Calif., is set to go to trial in patent lawsuits over DVRs made by Google Inc.’s Motorola unit and Cisco Systems Inc. next year.
The two companies agreed to dismiss all pending litigation. They had been scheduled to go to trial this month. The settlement with Verizon is the latest in a string of patent settlements for TiVo, which developed the first commercially available DVR. The device made it easy for people to record programs and watch them later, skipping over ads.
Last year TiVo settled with satellite TV company Dish Network Corp. and its set-top box provider EchoStar Corp. for $500 million, and earlier this year resolved a lawsuit against AT&T Inc. for $215 million. The payments from those settlements are staggered over several years. According to the company, the settlements bring its operations closer to profitability. TiVo has posted an annual loss in eight of the past 10 years. Under the settlement with Verizon, TiVo will get an initial cash payment of $100 million and quarterly payments totaling $150.4 million through July 2018.
Verizon will also pay monthly license fees through July 2018 for each of its DVR subscribers above a certain level. If the companies work together on certain joint initiatives, $29.4 million of the payment would be subject to a credit. The companies may also make Internet video services developed through Verizon’s joint venture with video rental kiosk Redbox accessible through TiVo’s DVRs.
Source: Associated Press