AT&T agrees to $215 million TiVo payout
4th Jan 2012 | 08:49
DVR patents fight takes a key turn
TiVo took a key step in its longstanding fight over copyrights relating to the DVR, with giant US broadcaster AT&T agreeing to pay $215 million to settle litigation and licence rights to the technology.
TiVo – a high-profile partner of Virgin Media in this country – was a trailblazer in digital video recording technology and has been fighting to have its IP realised in longstanding lawsuits.
"People will begin to view our intellectual property value with some greater predictability," said Tom Rogers, TiVo's chief executive.
The company has struggled of late in the US, but the prospect of big payments over its DVR patents has been a big factor in maintaining some manner of confidence in its prospects.
The news that AT&T has settled for $51 million upfront plus $164 million (a total of around £137.5m) in the coming years and incremental fees based on subscriber numbers has inevitably boosted share values for TiVo.
Interestingly, the end to uncertainty about how much the fee could be means that AT&T's stock also went up significantly.
In the UK, Virgin Media's TiVo boxes have become a familiar sight, although the DVR market is still dominated by BSkyB's Sky+.
Sky had originally formed an alliance with TiVo before unleashing its own DVR and the US company has been criticised the satellite giant for its actions.
Back in March 2010, TiVo vice president and general manager Joshua Danovitz told TechRadar that the the company was forced to withdraw from the UK market because of 'partnership failure' with Sky.
"We partnered with a company [BSkyB] that wasn't 100 per cent dedicated to promoting TiVo and soon after working with us and coming to market started promoting their own technology," he said.