TiVo/Rovi shakes down Google, gets patent money for YouTube TV

YouTube TV
YouTube TV

While Comcast continues to resist its demand for technology license payments, the new Rovi-fueled corporate incarnation of TiVo continues to rack up major victories. 

The company today announced that Google has agreed to a multiyear patent license for technologies “expressly” used in the YouTube TV virtual MVPD platform. 

TiVo didn’t say what technologies were involved. And terms of the deal weren’t described, either. 


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“The world of video entertainment is expanding with exciting new consumer offerings such as YouTube TV,” said Arvin Patel, executive VP and chief intellectual property officer for TiVo’s Rovi subsidiary, in a statement. “We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Google through the license of TiVo’s innovations and technology that further consumers’ ability to find and enjoy content on the device of their choice.”

TiVo last month announced that signed Altice USA to a multiyear patent agreement for tech used in the cable operator’s new Altice One video system.

RELATED: Altice expands patent deal with TiVo for new Altice One platform features

Of course, it’s the deal TiVo has not been able to make that’s drawn all of the attention of late. 

While Rovi has proven amply determined to make Comcast pay license fees for the technology it uses in its video system, a source close to the cable company told FierceCable the operator has developed most of the tech used in its X1 operating system itself.

The source said that while Comcast once relied on licensed technologies to develop older analog video delivery systems, it now uses its ample research and development resources to cook most of the user experience features in the X1 platform. 

RELATED: Comcast says it no longer relies on Rovi for X1 tech

“Comcast engineers independently created our X1 products and services, and through its litigation campaign against Comcast, Rovi seeks to charge Comcast and its customers for technology Rovi didn’t create," Comcast said in a statement on Thursday.  

Last week, two months after the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that Comcast violated two Rovi patents to create remote-recording features in X1, the TiVo-owned technology licensing subsidiary filed more lawsuits against the cable company. It sued in California and Massachusetts, claiming violations of eight additional patents.

According to the individual close to Comcast, the suits related to the ITC’s ruling that Comcast didn’t in fact violate 12 other patents included in Rovi’s 2016 complaint against Comcast. The cable company source said that the remote DVR feature in X1 was used by less than 1% of Comcast subscribers. And the cable company took the feature down last month, pending an appeal with the ITC. 

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