TiVo vs EchoStar: ‘End is in sight’

Tom Rogers, CEO at TiVo, says its long-running legal battles with EchoStar and its Dish Network sister company will likely end in February or March 2011. The DVR manufacturer has been locked in a tight legal embrace with EchoStar since 2004 when TiVo accused satellite TV provider EchoStar’s Dish Network system of violating TiVo’s patent for its “Time Warp” software that allows users to record one TV programme while watching another.

EchoStar has already paid TiVo a total of $104 million in damages, but EchoStar has also had a few minor victories itself along the way. Back in May a federal appeals court granted Dish a somewhat surprising opportunity for a better outcome granting the Denver-based broadcaster an ‘en banc’ hearing, which means the dispute goes to a full panel of judges. That’s planned to kick off on Nov 9.

Rogers told delegates at a Goldman Sachs media conference in New York that “We look at the Dish litigation as something we’re going to win.” It would be nice, given that fines and damages in TiVo’s favour already top $400 million. Many analysts have predicted that EchoStar/Dish might end up settling with TiVo and paying a royalty to the DVR supplier.

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