TiVo Continues Patent Trolling Success: Verizon FiOS to Pay $250.4 Million


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Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to pay more than $510 million to end patent-infringement suits filed by TiVo Inc. (TIVO) and ActiveVideo Networks Inc. that targeted features of its FiOS TV service.

Verizon, based in New York, will pay TiVo at least $250.4 million to end a dispute over digital-video-recording services, and agreed to pay CloudTV developer ActiveVideo more than $260 million over the video-on-demand feature.

The cases remove a drag on a service that Verizon is trying to promote as consumers demand more from their televisions. The company reported having 4.5 million FiOS Video connections at the end of the second quarter, a 16 percent increase from the year ago period. The wireline division, which includes the FiOS TV, phone and Internet services, generated $40.7 billion in sales last year and FiOS accounted for 65 percent of that division’s profit, Verizon said July 19.
Read More: Verizon to Pay More Than $510 Million to TiVo, ActiveVideo - Businessweek

Patent protection is meant to encourgage innovation by preventing the "theft" of "intellectual property", but it also increases prices by preventing competition during the protection period. In theory that pays for the cost of development. It also has a tendency to pay the salaries of lots of lawyers, and can be deadly to any small business that steps on a patent landmine. As an "inventor" myself I have to have some respect for the system, but in some ways I have to wonder if we wouldn't be better off without it.

This outcome means that TiVo can declare open season on most other multi-channel video programming distributors since most use almost identical equipment to Verizon FiOS and Dish Network. Expect "cable tv" service to continue to go up in price, especially if you rent a DVR!!!
Sad really. I hate the fact that companies can patent ideas but not create the actual product. Then anyone who does create something along the same lines has to pay a royalty.