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Rovi Corp. and TiVo: union, unequal marriage or something else?

Source: Grill IP patents news


Rumors about a merger of two players in the field of the cable television market appeared long ago. Moreover, both companies stirred up interest. Two years ago, from the interior (as it was declared) sources the information about the negotiations appeared. And if Rovi is quite a solid and successful player in the field of cable technologies, Tivo just got to his feet – and maybe too quickly, some might say. The “trick play” technology patented by Tivo allowed you to view real-time show recorded an hour ago, and it became super popular, but then played a low-down trick. Assets of Tivo reached 1 billion dollars value, but then the Interent came with streaming and online broadcasting – so you could do the same, but for free. Over the last year the shares of the corporation from San Francisco fell by 17% and the total value of the company slipped to the mark of 901 million dollars. So the company left the club of billionaires and, it seems, Tivo is not going to get back soon. Even getting a patent and launching a universal remote control did not save it from falling down, and the alliance with Rovi may well be a way out of a difficult situation.

And what about Rovi? It seems that the recently chosen strategy to be on content protection against pirates is pretty profitable. The Californian firm which made money at launching decoding devices managed to take a new direction, and it raised its rates. And a powerful patent portfolio makes Rovi quite a catch. However, there are some rumors that the majority of patents is going to expire soon, and such news take from this pretty picture. Therefore the merger, or, at least, the partnership with Tivo, which does not have many patents (just a few hundred), can be very productive. The patents of guys from Frisco are fresh and promising. The portfolio of 5000 patents of Californians looks impressive, but in fact, as rumors have it, it is a colossus with feet of clay. So who is going to win – we shall see what we shall see. And the two companies do so. Every week some leaks about the union and then a refutation are published. According to the New York Times the main investor of Rovi, Glenn Welling’s Engaged Capital, is putting pressure on the management to accelerate the merger. And it is understandable – the innovations of young Tivo and the management of powerful Rovi in alliance can bring good dividends.

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Author: grill-ip

Grill IP is a non-profit project for educational and entertaining purposes only. Our aim is to provide quick and easy access to aggregated and original patent news, IP analysis, interesting business cases in IP, basic legal updates and a list of patent transactions.

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