Dish, EchoStar, TiVo still tied up with patent

Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:25am
The Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Satellite television provider Dish Network Corp. and EchoStar Corp. say they are pleased a patent infringement claim related to software made by digital video recorder-maker TiVo Corp. will be reevaluated.

The lawsuit between TiVo and EchoStar relates to TiVo's Time Warp software, which lets users record one television program while watching another.

Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo said late Tuesday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office previously examined the patent at EchoStar's request and decided in November that the patent was valid and did not need to be changed. The latest reexamination request was only accepted because the patent office grants most requests, TiVo said.

"We are confident that the USPTO will once again confirm the validity of all of the claims of the Time Warp patent," TiVo said in separate statement.

But Dish Network and EchoStar remain confident in their challenge.

"The Patent and Trademark Office found that there is a 'substantial new question' of patentability as to the software claims in light of prior patents that appear to render TiVo's '389 patent invalid as obvious," Dish and Echostar said.

Dish Network spun off EchoStar Corp., which sells set-top boxes and provides satellite television services, in January 2008.

TiVo had asked the U.S. District Court to hold EchoStar in contempt for not following an injunction requiring it to disable its digital video recorder. A hearing on the contempt matter is scheduled for Feb. 17 and 18.

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