TiVo, Microsoft agree to dismiss patent litigation

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) have ended a slap-fight over DVR-related patents that began a few years ago when TiVo sued AT&T (NYSE: T) for patent infringement, and attack-dog Microsoft moved in to protect its major customer.

TiVo said that as a result of an agreement between itself and Microsoft to end litigation battles, TiVo did not have to grant Microsoft any of its patent rights. The agreement to dismiss the claims comes not long after AT&T agreed in late January to pay TiVo about $215 million over its patents.

AT&T had become a target for TiVo, as Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) also had, because of its DVR services, but the technology the carrier giant used came from Microsoft. The software company later claimed that TiVo infringed on four of Microsoft's patents related to DVR.

The litigation war between TiVo and its alleged infringers began to ease with TiVo's major patent win against Dish, which resulted in an agreement under which Dish and EchoStar Corp. (Nasdaq: SATS) will pay TiVo about $500 million over its patents. Since the AT&T agreement, things have been looking up for the DVR pioneer, which also recently reported a fourth quarter profit.

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