Advanced Television

TiVo, EchoStar return to court

February 19, 2009

TiVo and US satellite TV provider EchoStar return to a Texas court this week in the latest round of a longstanding fight over a TV recording technology patent. The legal dispute dates back to 2004, when TiVo charged that satellite TV provider EchoStar Communications Corp’s Dish network system violated TiVo’s patent for 'Time Warp' software, which allows users to record one TV programme while watching another. The court ruled in TiVo’s favour in 2006, and Dish and EchoStar last year paid $104 million in damages after the US Supreme Court denied Dish’s appeal of the ruling.

Following the ruling, EchoStar continued to distribute its digital video recorders, and collect subscription fees for the DVRs, which had replaced the software with a “work-around” that it claimed did not infringe on TiVo’s patented technology.

A judge will now consider whether TiVo can prove EchoStar’s new DVR software further infringed on TiVo’s patent, and therefore owes TiVo more damages.

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