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Court: EchoStar Continues to Infringe Upon TiVo’s DVR Patent

20 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

TiVo’s ongoing legal battle with EchoStar Communications April 20 received a boost following a U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling supporting a lower court decision that EchoStar continued to infringe upon TiVo’s digital video recorder patents.

The court said EchoStar had acted in contempt by failing to disable DVRs already sold to its subscribers. Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar’s subsidiary is Dish Network.

“This marks the second time that the district court's contempt ruling has been upheld by the Court of Appeals,” TiVo said in a statement. “We look forward to the permanent injunction against EchoStar and Dish Network finally being enforced with respect to the DVRs they must now disable. This ruling also paves the way for TiVo to receive substantial damages and contempt sanctions regarding the DVRs that EchoStar and Dish Network failed to disable.”

A Texas federal court in 2009 awarded TiVo more than $100 million in damages — a verdict EchoStar then appealed and received a stay. EchoStar already paid $104 million in jury-awarded damages following a 2006 trial.

EchoStar, in a statement, said it was disappointed in the court’s decision regarding disabling select DVRs in use, adding it would appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“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,” EchoStar said.

It reiterated that its Dish customers with DVRs are not immediately impacted by the recent developments since the disablement ruling covers only certain older generation 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 company said.

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