updated 06:40 pm EDT, Tue June 8, 2010
USPTO says TiVo patents invalid
TiVo suffered a second major setback in its lawsuit against Dish in as many months today as the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected two of the patents behind the complaint. The ruling isn't final but, if upheld, would dismantle the longstanding case TiVo has made against Dish and its former sibling Echostar, which accused both of copying the technology used behind simultaneous recording and playback in TiVo's DVRs.
In a statement, a TiVo spokesman minimized the USPTO decision and said the rejection was "just one of several steps" in having a patent granted. The company hoped to persuade the government agency that the patent was valid. Dish was happy with the finding.
The lawsuit has been ongoing for several years and, through an early ruling, had forced Dish to alter its DVRs to avoid possible bans on its satellite TV set-top boxes. TiVo didn't believe the changes were valid and successfully won a contempt verdict earlier this year, only to have it overturned in May.