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TiVo settles lawsuit against Verizon for $250.4M

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 1:09pm
The Associated Press

Verizon will pay Tivo Inc. at least $250.4 million to license its digital video recording technology and settle a patent lawsuit.

It is the third settlement that Tivo has gotten in major patent cases. That "bodes well for its future litigation," said Alan Gould, an analyst with Evercore, in a research note.

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. Gould reiterated his "Overweight" rating on shares with a $13 price target.

News of the settlement sent Tivo shares up 41 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $9.96 in midday trading after rising as high as $10.45 earlier in the session. Its shares traded at a 52-week high of $12.37 in late March.

Shares of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. fell 6 cents to $45.58.

The two companies agreed to dismiss all pending litigation. They had been scheduled to go to trial in October.

The deal 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 also staggered over several years.

The company has said that 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.

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