TiVo Scores Court Win Over Echostar

    April 14, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The battle of digital video recording interests ended in a jury decision in favor of TiVo and its technology patent.

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found in favor of TiVo, and upheld TiVo’s “time-warping” patent is valid. That meant Echostar’s DVRs infringe on TiVo’s patent, and TiVo was delighted with the jury’s verdict:

TiVo is particularly gratified that the jury found that EchoStar willfully infringed on our patent and the consequences their actions had on our overall business. This decision recognizes that our intellectual property is valuable and will ensure that moving forward EchoStar and any others that want to use our patented technology will be required to provide us with compensation.

Now that the verdict is in, TiVo wants a permanent injunction against Echostar, which would shut down the Echostar DVR line. It is possible that the suitable application of large sums of money in the form of licensing fees could change TiVo’s mind, but that is just speculation right now.

Echostar won’t be the only company that might find itself with no choice but to render unto TiVo what is TiVo’s if their appeal of the decision fails. They already have to pay TiVo nearly $74 million in damages, and the company has been in a fix trying to attract subscribers to its Dish Network or find cable partners for its technology.

Should Echostar’s appeal fail, TiVo would appear to have the entire DVR field locked up, as well as the ability to make deals with cable operators besides existing partner Comcast. That could mean TiVo and Time Warner Cable may be chatting in the future.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.