TiVo Wins Patent Dispute

    April 11, 2008

Just off the wire, Dish Network has failed to convince an appeals court to overturn TiVo’s earlier patent win against the company. TiVo’s earlier win is upheld.

TiVo Patent Win Upheld

This means that you very well may be screwed if you use Dish Network and may be seeing your DVR go away very soon. It also means that TiVo gets to keep at least $94 million in damages from Dish and possibly up to $200 million depending on the judge.

Today’s courts decision is the final decision and means that Dish Network can no longer appeal their loss to TiVo.

It is unlikely that TiVo would negotiate with Dish going forward to allow them to use TiVo’s patented DVR technology. Instead TiVo will enjoy the windfall from the company as well as be able to use Dish as an example when negotiating with other companies.

Two weeks ago on an analysts conference call TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said as much:

"I would say based on our experience with litigation, the cost of litigation are far less than the returns that we are seeing just from the cap side of this equation and I don’t think people have seen the end of what the cap side of that equation is, but just on the basis of damage award, what we’ve spent versus what we’ve gotten back, its been a great business move.

But again, my hope would be that the perception of what we’ve achieved and the value of our intellectual property and the enforcement of an injunction and what the implications of that are will help us significantly to drive forward broader distribution deals than do so without having to litigate."

My guess is that TiVo will use the muscle and threat behind this recent injunction to force Time Warner, one of the last operators to hold out, to do a deal with TiVo.

Update: TiVo has now issued a direct statement on their website:

"We are extremely pleased that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today denied EchoStar’s petition for a rehearing en banc, upholding the Court’s unanimous ruling in our favor on January 31, 2008, in EchoStar’s appeal of the district court judgment of patent infringement, full award of damages and an order for the injunction to be reinstated.

Today’s ruling brings us closer to resolution of EchoStar’s infringement and reconfirms the strength of TiVo’s Time Warp patent, which is in addition to the other benefits TiVo has to offer. We look forward to full enforcement of our rights in the near term."