One of the more secure jobs these days is to be part of TiVo's (Nasdaq: TIVO ) legal team.
The DVR pioneer is filing an answer and amending its counterclaims this morning in response to a patent infringement suit that Motorola initiated last year. TiVo is alleging counterclaims against Motorola and its set-top DVR customer Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC ) .
Lady Justice has taken a shine to TiVo in the past. The company has been able to enforce its "time warp" patents against several cable companies and satellite television providers that have either decided to play nice by licensing TiVo's technology or pay the price in court. AT&T (NYSE: T ) agreed to cough up at least $215 million as part of a settlement and future licensing agreement earlier this year, while DISH Network (Nasdaq: DISH ) had to pay more than twice that much to settle up with the DVR creator last year.
TiVo doesn't always win. It struck an agreement with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) last week where the two companies will mutually be dropping lawsuits against one another. The dueling lawsuits stemmed from TiVo's beef with AT&T that was settled back in January in TiVo's favor.
All of this comes at an interesting time for TiVo. After several quarters of TiVo user defections, the company posted its first quarter of net additions in four years back in November. It tacked on another 234,000 net subscribers the following quarter.
A few consumer-facing companies have taken advantage of subscriber growth to raise prices, but TiVo is now going the other way. Tivo is promoting a monthly rate of $14.99 -- a 25% discount -- to those agreeing to a yearlong commitment on all of its Premiere DVRs. It may be merely a promotion, but it's an interesting approach to make sure that TiVo doesn't fall back into another four-year funk.
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