Verizon capitulates in patent disputes

US telco Verizon has settled two separate patent litigations with TV technology specialists TiVo and ActiveVideo Networks, and agreed to pay out total compensation worth more than half a billion dollars.

The patent dispute with TiVo relates to Verizon’s use of DVR technology in its ‘FiOS TV’ service, and appears to have been resolved amicably, with the two companies announcing that they have entered into a mutual patent licensing arrangement.

Under the terms of the settlement, Verizon will provide TiVo total compensation worth at least US$ 250.4mn. The payments from Verizon to TiVo shall be comprised of a US$ 100mn initial cash payment followed by recurring quarterly payments totalling an additional US$ 150.4mn through July 2018.

In addition to the guaranteed compensation, Verizon will also pay monthly license fees through July 2018 for each Verizon DVR subscriber in excess of certain pre-determined levels.

In addition to the cash payments described above, Verizon and TiVo are exploring, among other things, future distribution of Internet video services developed through Verizon’s joint venture with Redbox by making content distributed via that service part of the diverse selection of linear and broadband-delivered content accessible to users of TiVo’s retail DVR products.

Californian firm ActiveVideo Networks has also announced that it has revolved its ongoing patent dispute with Verizon, with CEO Jeff Miller stating that the two parties have also agreed to cross-license their patents, agreed not to sue each other for a period of years, and Verizon agreed to pay the US$ 260mn previously ordered by a district court and an additional unspecified amount of money.

Verizon had reached 4.5mn video subscribers by the end of the second quarter of this year, having added 120,000 customers in the three-month period.

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