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Motorola Mobility sues TiVo over DVR patents

NEW YORK — Motorola Mobility Inc. is suing TiVo Inc., alleging that TiVo’s signature digital video recorder set-top boxes use technology patented by Motorola.

“We pride ourselves on our strong R&D (research and development) and intellectual property and will move aggressively to protect that value on behalf of our customers, partners and shareholders,” Motorola said in a statement.

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 Inc., 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 Inc.

TiVo has been embroiled in a similar legal battle against Echostar Corp. and its former subsidiary, Dish Network Corp. for seven years. The companies presented oral arguments before the appeals court 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 September 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 Corp. sued Motorola for violating its trademark. Motorola last week began selling a tablet computer called the Xoom, which is intended to compete with Apple Inc.’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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