updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon October 6, 2008
EchoStar and DISH Pay TiVo
EchoStar and DISH today were told by the US Supreme Court to pay TiVo $104 million for allegedly infringing on some of the DVR maker's patents. The decision comes following an unsuccessful appeal of an original 2006 decision by EchoStar and DISH and will potentially increase further if additional patent lawsuits and claims of contempt are decided in TiVo's favor. The set-top box producer last month accused DISH and EchoStar of violating a stop placed on their own DVRs by continuing to sell satellite TV DVRs with software TiVo says copies its features.
Neither DISH nor EchoStar believes its current software violates the original patents and say a workaround released earlier avoids infringement. TiVo disagrees and continues to argue that the two TV firms cloned patented elements of its Time Warp technology, which forms the centerpiece of TiVo boxes' abilities to record TV and play it back later with skip and pause controls.
The win is a significant advancement for TiVo, which has enjoyed modest success in the DVR business but has struggled to compete against cable and satellite recorders supplied by carriers. Rival hardware until now has often had fewer features but a lower monthly subscription fee to keep using the service.