Google Sells Off Motorola Home, Takes Liability for TiVo Lawsuit

Motorola Home, the mobile broadband division of the mobile device maker, was sold off to Arris yesterday for over two billion dollars in cash and stock.  The buy is a big win for the Suwanee, Georgia-based company, which specializes in designing solutions for cable companies – but there is a catch.

As it turns out, TiVo sued Motorola Home earlier this year for allegedly making use of its digital recording technology without a license. The DVR company has made a massive damages claim.

“Motorola’s massive production of infringing DVRs dwarfs the numbers of accused products at issue in TiVo’s previous cases,” TiVo said the court filling that Bloomberg picked up in October. “TiVo’s damages claim is likely to run into the billions of dollars.”

In a recent analyst conference, Arris chief executive Bob Stanzione shrugged off the possibility that his company may have to shell out a few extra billion for its latest acquisition. He suggested the damages claim is valued at far less than a billion and added that it is entirely possible TiVo will not win the suit.

“It’s not something you have to worry about in terms of the financial impact on Arris,” he said, later adding, “Google has taken that risk off the table for Arris.”

Stanzione regarded the prospect of an injunction against certain Motorola products much more seriously. He acknowledged the risk but downplayed it, noting that it’s a “very remote possibility.”

From Google’s point of view, it just got a sizable fraction of the $12.5 billion it paid for Motorola back. It could always use the money: the search giant has been laboring over several side-projects in the past few months. The latest one is collaboration with the Israeli Antiquities Authority to digitalize the Dead Sea Scrolls.