Let me get this straight. The reason to invest in TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) is because it's ... going to win money in court? That's it?

And this money will arrive before TiVo runs out of cash -- any day now, in fact? (Actually, Anders says TiVo is "near the end of the road," but picking on the dual meaning there would be just too easy.)

Puh-leeze. That's not an investment thesis, people. That's a pipe dream. You know how long it takes to convert even a final court verdict to an actual cash-in-the-bank award? Ask the shareholders of ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). It's been nearly 18 years since their Exxon Valdez had its run-in with an Alaskan reef. Five years later, a jury decided the case. The award, issued in Anchorage, included $5 billion for punitive damages -- and plaintiffs still haven't seen a dime of that money. In fact, a panel of Federal Circuit Court judges just cut the award in half.

TiVo is burning cash today. Its competitors, from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) to Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Samsung to NDS (NASDAQ:NNDS) -- cash flow-positive all of 'em, by the way -- are building name recognition and expanding market share. Meanwhile, TiVo shareholders watch their stake in the firm dwindle with every new share issued. (Shares outstanding are up 14% over the last year, by the way.)

All of which, I suspect, is why Anders wrote back in October that TiVo's "cash stash could run out in just a few quarters at current rates, forcing shareholder-unfriendly measures like dilutive stock offerings or another dip into long-term debt. It's a race against time, and I'm staying away until one side or the other gives up the fight."

Anders, you had it right the first time. It's time for TiVo to fade to black.

TiVo is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. See what else Tom and David Gardner have recommended by taking the newsletter service for a free, 30-day spin.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of, nor is he short, any company named above. If he did (or was), The Motley Fool would require him to tell you so. We're sticklers about things like that.