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Group Says Dish Network is Abusing Appeals Process

15 Jun, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

dish network

A trade group representing small and mid-size technology companies has filed a legal brief alleging Dish Network Corp., a satellite subsidiary of EchoStar Communications, is using the courts to delay justice while continuing to infringe upon TiVo Inc.’s digital video recording technology.

The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) filed the motion June 10 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Texas. It said EchoStar’s abuse of the appeals process would offer a blueprint to other deep pocket companies intent on undermining the patent system.

“The result would be a system that only served the most established, well-funded and dominant players in any market,” said Mark David Blafkin, VP for public affairs with ACT.

TiVo June 2 was awarded an additional $103 million in damages plus interest by a federal judge in ongoing patent infringement litigation with EchoStar and subsidiary Dish Network.

The appeals court June 3 issued a temporary stay requiring both parties return to court and re-present their cases.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas had concurred with TiVo’s allegation that EchoStar continued to infringe TiVo’s patent and violate the injunction issued by the court requiring them to disable the DVR functionality in their infringing set-top box devices.

EchoStar last year paid TiVo $104 million in jury-awarded damages in an initial ruling in the 2006 infringement case.

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