TiVo and Dish/EchoStar patent battle creeps slowly forward


Dish/EchoStar has won a small battle in its ongoing federal court battle with TiVo over claims that each has violated the other company’s patents used in digital video recorders (DVRs). It is still TiVo with the upper hand, though, since it has already collected $104 million and has a judgment standing to collect another $103 million more, plus interest.

In the latest court maneuvering, the federal court in Texas which has been dealing with the long-running case on Tuesday (2/8) lifted its stay of a patent infringement claim by Dish/EchoStar (which were a single company when all this began) against TiVo.

“We are pleased that the court granted our motion to lift the stay in our patent infringement action against TiVo. The patent in this case withstood two re-exam petitions by TiVo seeking to invalidate it. We look forward to the trial,” said a statement from Dish.

For its part, TiVo is downplaying the significance of the court action. “The suit, originally brought by EchoStar on four patents, has been whittled down to one patent, a patent on which EchoStar has changed its position on the meaning of claim terms,” TiVo said, adding that the patent suit against it is completely separate and has no impact on its own suit against Dish/EchoStar.

“EchoStar brought this suit in 2005 based on four patents that EchoStar acquired from IBM after TiVo initiated its successful lawsuit against EchoStar for EchoStar’s infringement of TiVo’s Time Warp patent,” TiVo said. It noted that most of the patent claims had been rejected or narrowed by the US Patent Office and that only the one patent for “Multimedia Direct Access Storage Device and Formatting Method” is now before the court. TiVo says it is confident that its technology does not infringe on that patent.