Monday, October 6, 2008

Out of Options, DISH finally pays TiVo $104 Million Judgement

Echostar, the parent of DISH Network has announced that it plans to pay the $104 million to tivo that it owed as a result of a legal dispute.  Tivo won a patent infringement lawsuit against Echostar in 2006, in which the court ruled that the DISH network infringed on Tivo's technology when this company created their DVR. The main discussion was about the patent for a "multimedia time warping system".
After DISH lost the decision, they made a number of appeals, however TiVo won all of them. Even after losing the appeals, DISH continued to say that their software didn't infringe on TiVo's.  DISH even took it to the supreme court, but was denied a certiorari, which is a decision to review the lower courts decision.  Because of this, DISH will now pay the $104 million to TiVo, which was the original amount that the jury ordered after the 2006 decision, plus interest.
DISH has made a workaround on their DVR's which they believe is enough so as they don't violate Tivo's patent.  The decision that was made however, does not effect this new workaround, and there is still an ongoing case on whether the new workaround violates this patent.  DISH must be confident in this new workaround because if they again lose this case, it could have horrible effects for the company, especially after just losing $104 million.  DISH may be forced into licensing agreements with TiVo if they want to keep their DVR's functioning.


Catherine Malcolm said...

It'd be interesting to know exactly what the infringement included. I understand the patent issue, but TiVo and DVR are the only two "time freezing" sources for tv today. It seems a bit monopolistic for TiVo to want to literally own the ability for watcher to freeze and unfreeze live television. Once again, the specifics would be more helpful. As a consumer, I say yes to Echostar.

Patrick T said...

I don't think TiVo is upset because of DISH using the same idea to pause, record, and rewind live TV. I think that TiVo thinks that DISH used the same technology found in a TiVo to make its DVR. So... if you are going to reverse engineer something at least make sure you don't get caught.

HAYNE said...

As I understand it, TiVos have been withdrawn from sale a few years ago? I'm not entirely sure. I'm probably wrong.
Disregarding whether or not Echostar violated TiVo's patent, it seems to me (from reading your entry) that TiVo has hopes to be the only DVR and electronic TV programming schedule device out there; an idea I am not really a fan of. I only say this, because the picture of the release of the iPod touch and the consequent explosion of a hundred other touch-screen hand-held devices came to mind.. except I don't think Apple sued anyone for using similar technology.
Sorry this comment is a little ambigeuous. It would've been nice if you included what exactly the debated lawsuit entailed.

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