SONICblue and TiVo Drop Patent Squabble

The battle between SONICblue and TiVo has been decided. The winner? The bottom line.

The two Silicon Valley-based makers of digital video recorders (DVR) Friday said they will drop patent infringement suits that they filed against each other last year “without prejudice.”

The suits are pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The goal, they say, is to put away their differences and begin working on making the technology better and profitable.

In a joint statement the two companies said, “We believe our energies are better spent expanding the market for digital video recorders rather than fighting each other. Both sides believe in the merits of their respective positions, but the overall success of the DVR category is what is most important to the companies at this time.”

SONICblue is the older of the two companies but only started making the controversial ReplayTV brand as well personal television technology and software for its Go-Video Dual-Deck VCRs and integrated DVD+VCRs a few years ago.

TiVo, which makes the more popular selling model, says most of its 464,000 subscriber base is recommended through word-of-mouth.

But, both companies are losing money and according to research firm NPDTechworld, sales of DVRs have dropped for the first time since 1999.

Another sign that the DVR industry is in trouble is that Microsoft said it was abandoing its UltimateTV division even though sales of its units nearly matched TiVo’s for September.

News Around the Web