March 1, 2011

Motorola Files Patent Suit Against TiVo

Motorola Mobility is suing subscription service company TiVo Inc., alleging that it had infringed on its patents for digital video recorders (DVR).

Motorola's lawsuit comes after TiVo sued Verizon Communications Inc., which uses Motorola's technology, for patent infringement in 2009. TiVo has also filed a similar suit against AT&T.

In the complaint filed on Friday in US District Court in Texarkana, Texas, Motorola said it acquired its DVR patents through an acquisition of Imedia, which filed for patents in April 1995.

"We pride ourselves on our strong R&D (research and development) and intellectual property and will move aggressively to protect that value on behalf of our customers, partners and shareholders," Motorola told ABC News in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, Motorola subsidiary General Instrument owns multiple patents for DVR technology. TiVo's patents used the same technology that Imedia engineers invented years before, Motorola added.

"TiVo is attempting to assert its patents against technology disclosed and claimed in Motorola Mobility's patents, despite the fact that Motorola Mobility's patents were filed more than three years before TiVo's patents," said Motorola.

TiVo declined to comment on Sunday.

The patents in dispute allow people to record one television show while watching another program.

TiVo has also been entangled in another similar fight against Echostar Corp. and its former subsidiary, Dish Network Corp. for seven years. The companies presented oral arguments before the full panel of appellate judges for the federal circuit in November, and now await a judgment.

Echostar has already paid more than $100 million in damages to TiVo. If TiVo wins the case, Echostar would have to pay roughly $200 million in damages through July 2009, and, most likely, damages from the past year and a half as well.

Motorola's lawsuit against TiVo also came two days after online monetary transfer service Xoom Corp. sued Motorola for violating its trademark. Motorola last week began selling its Xoom tablet computer.


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