TiVo Corp. settles DVR patent suit with Samsung, but still getting hammered by Comcast litigation

TiVo
Image: Tivo

The freshly consolidated TiVo Corp. announced that is has settled a DVR-tech related patent suit with Samsung, but also revealed in its third-quarter earnings report that it continues to be hammered by ongoing litigation with Comcast. 

Making its first earnings report since Rovi closed on its $1.1 billion purchase of TiVo, the company combines elements of the legacy TiVo’s MSO set-top software business with Rovi’s litigation-rampant patent licensing acumen. 

However, it was actually legacy TiVo that sued Samsung in Texas in September 2015, alleging that the electronics company’s DVR’s violated its patents. 

RELATED: TiVo/Rovi re-up patent deal with Panasonic

TiVo said the settlement, terms of which weren’t disclosed, “exemplifies the synergistic opportunities created by Rovi’s acquisition of TiVo to deliver significant value to our customers.”

In reporting a solid $49.9 million profit for the third quarter Thursday, TiVo executives said they were optimistic a separate piece of patent litigation – instigated by legacy Rovi – would be settled soon.

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

In the near term, the Comcast dispute seems to be hurting TiVo’s bottom line in myriad ways

For example, the company reported a 34 percent uptick to $126 million in service revenues provided to pay-TV operators, a metric that would have been better in the third quarter, the tech company conceded, had Comcast been “in license.”

In terms of operating margins and cash flow, TiVo executives said that they expect to begin 2017 with higher cost “both due to the timing of synergies” relating to the Comcast litigation. 

“We’ve now licensed major operators. We’ve licensed AT&T, we’ve licensed Dish, Samsung is a big company, we’ve licensed them,” said TiVo President and CEO Tom Carson during Thursday’s earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “So, frankly we have a hard time seeing how Comcast doesn’t take a license. Our approach has been to do our best to try to avoid litigation and to get a reasonable deal done. I would hope that all the deals that we have now sends a message to Comcast that the industry is set in terms of what the rates are.”

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