DISH Network And EchoStar Respond After Court Rules In Favor Of TiVo

Apr 20, 2011
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DISH Network and EchoStar have issued a statement regarding the recent ruling from the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals in their legal battle with TiVo over technology patent infringement. The battle has been ongoing since 2004 with rejected appeals and small victories along the way for DISH Network and EchoStar. The Federal Circuit ruled today that it has unanimously vacated a previous district court’s contempt ruling but has a 7-5 split decision on the court's ruling regarding disablement of subject devices.

DISH Network and EchoStar plan to seek a review over of this part of the decision from the United States Supreme Court. They're response to the ruling is as follows:

“DISH Network and EchoStar are pleased that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously vacated the district court’s contempt ruling regarding our software design around. We are disappointed, however, that the Federal Circuit in a 7-5 split decision has affirmed the district court’s ruling on the disablement question. We intend to seek review of that part of the decision by the United States Supreme Court and seek a stay of the injunction while doing so. We also will be making a motion to dissolve the injunction based on Tivo’s recent representations to the Patent and Trademark Office substantially limiting the scope of the claims at issue in this case. Existing DISH Network customers with DVRs are not immediately impacted by these recent developments. The disablement ruling covers only certain older generation MPEG2 DVRs. We have already upgraded many of these customers and, if we are unsuccessful in obtaining a stay, we will work as quickly as possible to upgrade the remaining customers to our current generation DVRs, as these are not at issue in the ruling.”

The legal battle began in 2004 when TiVo said DISH Network, named EchoStar back then, was infringing on TiVo’s “time-warp” technology that allowed users to pause, fast-forward, and rewind during live television. Many set-top boxes allow this type of functionality now. DISH Network is also looking to dissolve an injunction on a previous ruling based on TiVo’s representations to the Patent and Trademark Office regarding the scope of the claims at issue.

DISH Network says current customers should not be affected by the Federal Circuit’s disablement decision, and that the ruling would only affect older MPEG2 DVRs. Most of their customers have upgraded beyond this version, but if DISH Network’s request of a stay of injunction is unsuccessful they will upgrade the remaining customers as soon as possible. DISH Network’s current generation of DVRs are not at issue with this ruling.


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