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Dish loses TiVo lawsuit appeal, will pay TiVo $104M in damages

Tue, 10/07/2008 - 8:20am
Traci Patterson

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Dish Network’s appeal of a patent infringement case involving TiVo’s “time warp” technology; Dish Network and EchoStar Corp. will pay $104 million in damages to TiVo.

TiVo sued EchoStar in 2004 for infringement on TiVo’s time warp technology, which allows DVR users to pause live TV. The function also allows viewers to watch one program while recording another.

In February, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., ruled that Dish Network had infringed on TiVo’s patent for DVRs (story here). At that time, Dish said that it would appeal the verdict and that customers would be unaffected by the ruling since it used its own DVR software.

For the recent ruling, still to be decided is how U.S. District Judge David Folsom in Texas will rule on whether EchoStar owes TiVo more damages for allegedly failing to turn off its DVRs, as required in the injunction. EchoStar continued collecting subscription fees for the infringing DVRs and replaced the infringing software with a "work-around" that does not use TiVo's patented technology, according to Reuters.

TiVo had the following to say about the decision: "We are extremely pleased that the United States Supreme Court has denied EchoStar's petition to review the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimous ruling that upheld the District Court judgment of willful patent infringement, full award of damages, and a permanent injunction against EchoStar's infringing DVR products.

“We look forward to the expeditious receipt of damages awarded by the District Court covering the period through September 8, 2006, and remain confident that the District Court will enforce the injunction and award further damages from EchoStar's continued infringement of our time warp patent."

And Dish Network released this response: "As expected, the Supreme Court denied our petition for certiorari today. The Supreme Court's decision, however, does not impact our software design-around, which has been placed in Dish DVRs subject to the district court's injunction, and our customers can continue using their Dish DVRs. We believe that the design-around does not infringe TiVo's patent and that TiVo's pending motion for contempt should be denied. We look forward to that ruling in the near future.

“Because of the Supreme Court's decision, we will pay TiVo approximately $104 million (the amount the jury awarded in 2006 plus interest). The money is in an escrow account and will be released to TiVo in the next few days."

Dish Network, formerly known as EchoStar Communications Corp., recently spun-off its technology assets, including its set-top box division, to create EchoStar Holding Corp.

More Broadband Direct:

• Comcast Media Center buys Radiance Technologies for $5M

• Jury sides with Cox in Verizon's VoIP lawsuit

• Dish loses TiVo lawsuit appeal, will pay TiVo $104M in damages

• Pace International partners up with Dish Network

• AT&T launches U-verse Total Home DVR in San Antonio

• SCTE hires search firm to find new president

• Broadband Briefs for 10/07/08

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