TiVo triumphs as Dish appeal is denied


The US Supreme Court has refused to hear Dish Network/EchoStar’s appeal of a patent infringement judgment in favor of TiVo. Damages of over $100 million, including interest, will now go to TiVo, but EchoStar and Dish Network say they believe their software design-around will be upheld by the US District Court where the trial was held. TiVo, as you might expect, does not agree.A federal jury ruled in 2004 that EchoStar (which has since divided into Dish Network and EchoStar) infringed on TiVo patents with its Dish digital video recorders (DVRs). The jury awarded TiVo damages of $74 million. With interest, that has now grown to approximately $104 million. The money is in escrow and, having been rebuffed by the nation’s highest court, Dish/Echostar says the cash will be released to TiVo in the next few days.The case now heads back to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas where the judge will rule on whether Dish’s redesigned DVRs are still infringing on TiVo’s patent. “We believe that the design-around does not infringe Tivo’s patent and that Tivo’s pending motion for contempt should be denied,” said a joint statement from Dish/EchoStar.Quite the contrary, says TiVo. “We look forward to the expeditious receipt of damages awarded by the District Court covering the period through September 8, 2006 and remain confident that the District Court will enforce the injunction and award further damages from EchoStar’s continued infringement of our Time Warp patent,” the company said as it applauded the Supreme Court for letting its court victory stand.