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Roku Signs TiVo License Pact Covering 6,000 Patents

Variety logo Variety 4/12/2017 Todd Spangler
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Roku has signed a multiyear intellectual-property license agreement with TiVo, granting Roku access to a portfolio of thousands of patents.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. The agreement covers the TiVo and Rovi patent portfolios as well as the over-the-top patents in the Intellectual Ventures portfolio under the TiVo-IV licensing partnership.

TiVo in its current instantiation was formed out of Rovi’s $1.1 billion acquisition of the DVR maker last year. The combined company’s patent holdings encompass approximately 6,000 issued and pending patents, including about 4,000 internationally. The patents cover a diverse range of technologies, including interactive program guides, DVR functions and mobile device media processes.

Roku also has an option to access TiVo’s entertainment metadata and other products to “further power intuitive search and navigation,” according to TiVo.

Both TiVo and Rovi separately had aggressively pursued licensing deals — and failing that, litigation — for their respective patent portfolios. TiVo currently is engaged in litigation against Comcast; Rovi sued the cable giant and its set-top suppliers last year, alleging they infringe 14 of its patents.

In 2015, Rovi suffered a rare legal defeat against Netflix, after a U.S. federal judge ruled that the five Rovi-owned patents at issue in Rovi’s lawsuit against the streaming-video company were invalid.

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