Dish DVRs stay on…for now


Dish Network got a federal appeals court to put a hold on a federal district judge’s contempt finding which would have required Dish to shut off its DVRs because they infringe on TiVo’s patents. Outside observers, though, don’t see Dish as likely to prevail in the long run.

“We are pleased that the Federal Appeals Court in Washington temporarily stayed the district court’s order in the TiVo litigation. Dish Network customers can continue using their DVRs. We believe that we have strong grounds for appeal,” said a joint statement from Dish and EchoStar, which are related companies.

TiVo, on the other hand, preferred to remind everyone that the district court had awarded it $103 million, plus interest. “We are very pleased with the recent decision by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, to fully enforce a permanent injunction in our patent case against EchoStar in addition to rejecting EchoStar’s alleged workaround claim regarding the TiVo patent and finding EchoStar to be in contempt of the Court’s permanent injunction. The U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the District Court’s ruling pending the Court’s consideration of TiVo’s response to EchoStar’s motion for stay pending appeal. We are confident the U.S. Court of Appeals will again uphold the District Court ruling and not permit EchoStar to further delay this case once it has an opportunity to consider TiVo’s response and EchoStar’s motion on the issue of the stay,” TiVo said.

“Bottom line – further delay is frustrating,” wrote Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Marci Ryvicker. “Investors had been waiting for the TiVo vs. Dish litigation be over already, and it seemed like this was the case given the court’s ruling yesterday as statements in court documents were pretty harsh towards Dish. While we were relatively surprised that Dish was granted a temporary stay last night, TiVo was not and does not expect the stay to impact the final outcome of this case – meaning that Dish will likely be forced to pay TiVo the $103M plus interest and shut off their DVR boxes, leading (in our opinion) to a licensing agreement,” the analyst said.

Dish stock was up 2.7% on Thursday, while TiVo still managed to gain 1.9%.