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Patent office sides with TiVo in dustup with EchoStar

Fri, 11/30/2007 - 8:05am
Mike Robuck

TiVo is claiming victory in the latest round of its battle with EchoStar Communications after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) sided with the DVR pioneer.

EchoStar sued TiVo in 2004 and requested that the patent office re-examine the patent TiVo holds on “time warp” technology, which allows DVR users to pause live TV. The function also allows viewers to watch one program while recording another.

"We are extremely pleased that the PTO has now found all claims of the Time Warp Patent to be valid after conducting a re-examination of the patent requested by EchoStar,” TiVo said in yesterday’s statement. “This decision by the PTO is final and not appealable by EchoStar. Today's decision by the PTO brings us another step closer to ending EchoStar's continued infringement, and we are hopeful that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will uphold the district court judgment of patent infringement and reinstate the injunction."

EchoStar said in a statement that the patent office’s decision was disappointing but that it doesn’t affect the company’s pending appeal before a federal court in regards to the TiVo lawsuit.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction against EchoStar supplying its Dish Network customers with DVRs, while also ordering EchoStar to pay TiVo $89.6 million in damages, which led to EchoStar’s current appeal. 

EchoStar claims its DVR technology is not the same as TiVo’s. The ruling by the patent office on TiVo’s time warp technology does not have a direct bearing on EchoStar’s federal appeal.

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