TiVo doubles down on IP licensing with new Roku agreement

Rovi Corporation acquired TiVo in 2016 for $1.1 billion and adopted the TiVo name, and its recent industry movements indicate the company’s piqued interest in patents.

A new intellectual property license agreement between technology and media companies TiVo and Roku will support both companies’ place in streaming entertainment, TiVo announced today.

The multiyear IP agreement between TiVo and Roku involves the patent portfolios of both companies and OTT assets of the Intellectual Ventures patent portfolio under the TiVo/IV licensing partnership. Roku will also have access to TiVo’s entertainment metadata that will support intuitive search and navigation—search being a crucial component to Roku’s customers.

“This license agreement with Roku underscores the importance of TiVo’s comprehensive patent portfolios for the fast-growing streaming entertainment industry,” said Samir Armaly, executive vice president of intellectual property and licensing for Rovi Corporation, a TiVo company. “We look forward to supporting Roku with innovative entertainment enhancements that will be enjoyed for years to come by its current and future customers.”


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RELATED: Rovi's $1.1B TiVo acquisition gets OK from FTC and DOJ

Rovi Corporation acquired TiVo in 2016 for $1.1 billion and adopted the TiVo name, and its recent industry movements indicate the company’s piqued interest in patents. In January, TiVo announced that it signed a long-term IP license agreement with Time Warner Inc.’s HBO. At the time, Armaly also noted the “rapidly changing and fragmented media industry.”

But TiVo is also (still) embroiled in a patent-related lawsuit with Comcast. Rovi filed suit against Comcast in April of last year, alleging the cable company and its set-top suppliers had violated 14 of Rovi’s (now TiVo’s) patents. According to Rovi, the patents relate to features in Comcast's X1 video platform, including the way Comcast implements remote recording, the "AnyRoom" DVR and search.

Then in June of last year, Comcast counter-sued Rovi, saying that the Texas-based patent suit violated the terms of a licensing deal that requires such disputes to be handled in New York.

Related: Comcast counter-sues Rovi, says tech company needs to settle patent beef in NYC, not Texas

"Comcast had licensed Rovi's technology for more than a decade, and rather than renew its license, Comcast opted to continue to use our patented technology without our permission," Armaly told CableFax.

Comcast argued that the company is covered by agreements reached in 2010 after it bought out Rovi’s interest in Guideworks, which was created to develop interactive programming guides for Comcast and others, CableFax reported.

TiVo’s current patent holdings include about 6,000 issued and pending patents, Yahoo! Movies reported, covering program guides, DVR functions and mobile device media processes, among others.

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