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Motorola Mobility sues TiVo over DVR patents

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 7:40am
Dana Wollman, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Motorola Mobility is suing TiVo, alleging that TiVo's signature digital video recorder set-top boxes use technology patented by Motorola.

"We pride ourselves on our strong R&D and intellectual property and will move aggressively to protect that value on behalf of our customers, partners and shareholders," Motorola said.

According to the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Texarkana, Texas, Motorola subsidiary General Instrument owns multiple patents for DVR technology, including some filed in 1995, more than two years before TiVo developed its own DVR set-top box.

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

TiVo, based in Alviso, Calif., declined to comment on the Motorola lawsuit.

In 2009, TiVo filed its own suit against a Motorola customer, Verizon Communications, alleging that it violates TiVo's patent. Motorola sells set-top boxes to Verizon, which in turn sells DVR service to its subscribers. TiVo has also filed a similar suit against AT&T.

TiVo has been embroiled in a similar legal battle against EchoStar and its former subsidiary, Dish Network, 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 TiVo more than $100 million in damages. If TiVo wins its case, EchoStar will 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 came two days after online money transfer service Xoom sued Motorola for violating its trademark. Motorola last week began selling a tablet computer called the Xoom, which is intended to compete with Apple's popular iPad.

Shares of Libertyville, Ill.-based Motorola Mobility fell 94 cents, or 3 percent, to $29.67 during Monday afternoon trading, while shares of TiVo fell 11 cents to $10.29.

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