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EchoStar Could Dish Out Millions To TiVo

Posted by iNext - 2006-04-17

A federal jury in Texas has awarded TiVo $74 million in damages in patent lawsuit against EchoStar Communications Corp.
The 10-member jury in the United States District Court Eastern District of Marshall, Texas said EchoStar willfully infringed on TiVo's Digital Video Recorder (DVR) patent.

In the lawsuit, TiVo alleged EchoStar infringed its patent that allows consumers to record one show while watching another. EchoStar denied wrongdoing and said it plans to appeal the decision.

EchoStar, known for DISH Network brand, issued a statement Thursday calling the verdict the "first step in a very long process." EchoStar said it was confident an appeal or a continuing U.S. Patent Office review of TiVo's technology would overturn the verdict.

"We believe the patent, as interpreted in this case, is overly broad given the technology in existence when TiVo filed its patent," the company said. "We believe the decision will be reversed."

TiVo said in a statement following the jury action on Thursday that it intends to seek a permanent injunction against EchoStar's DVR products, the company. The company said it holds more than 87 patents, with approximately 138 applications pending.

Earlier this week, TiVo and satellite provider DirectTV Group Inc. agreed to continue their relationship for another three years. The two companies also agreed not to file a patent suit against the other for the patent suite against the other for the duration of the agreement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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