Advanced Television

DISH/TiVo Case Not Over Yet

October 8, 2008

While the U.S. Supreme Court’s move to deny DISH’s appeal of the TiVo patent infringement case was a significant blow for the satellite TV company, the litigation between the companies is far from becoming a done deal.

The Supreme Court denied DISH’s petition to review a U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit ruling that upheld a lower federal court judgment of willful patent infringement of TiVo’s so-called Time Warp patent. With the denial, all eyes are now focused on the Texas federal court handling what’s being called the penalty phase of the lengthy legal matter.

In a statement, TiVo said it’s looking forward to the receipt of damages awarded by the U.S. District Court handling the case. Those damages would cover a two-year period. Also, TiVo said it remains “confident that the District Court will enforce the injunction and award further damages from EchoStar’s continued infringement of our Time Warp patent.”

In its statement, DISH stressed that the Supreme Court’s decision does not impact a software design-around that has been placed in DISH DVRs subject to the district court’s injunction, and that customers of the small dish service 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,” DISH said in a statement.

Nonetheless, because of the Supreme Court decision, DISH said it 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 said.

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