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TiVo sues EchoStar. EchoStar retaliates by suing TiVo. Fast forward a year or so… EchoStar’s suit is stayed, pending analysis by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

ALVISO, Calif., Aug 28, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and the leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), today offered the following statement on the court stay of EchoStar Technology Corporation’s lawsuit against TiVo and Humax USA. On July 14, 2006, United States Magistrate Judge Caroline M. Craven for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, issued a stay order, which is now final.

“We are pleased with the Court’s order to stay EchoStar Technology Corporation’s patent infringement litigation pending the outcome of the USPTO reexamination proceedings of certain EchoStar patents. The reexamination requests TiVo submitted to the USPTO detail how a large number of prior art references that the USPTO did not previously consider raise substantial new questions regarding the validity of the claims EchoStar asserted and why those claims are invalid. TiVo will continue to defend its technology vigorously and will not be intimidated by claims such as those EchoStar asserted against TiVo — claims EchoStar asserted in response to TiVo’s successful suit against EchoStar. As the jury found on April 13, 2006 in TiVo’s suit against EchoStar, EchoStar willfully infringed TiVo’s pioneering time warping patent. TiVo will continue to vigorously pursue its rights in that case.”

The order grants a stay in the proceedings in EchoStar Technology Corporation’s lawsuit against TiVo and Humax USA, Inc. regarding the alleged infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,774,186 (“Interruption Tolerant Video Program Viewing”), 6,208,804 B1 (“Multimedia Direct Access Storage Device and Formatting Method”), and 6,529,685 B2 (“Multimedia Direct Access Storage Device and Formatting Method”) pending the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) completion of proceedings with respect to TiVo’s request for reexamination of those patents.

EchoStar Has A Bad Month

Dave Zatz —  August 23, 2006 — 2 Comments

First they’re ordered to disable DVR service (currently on hold) and now they’ve been ordered to kill transmission of network TV.

Washington Post says: Hundreds of thousands of Dish Network subscribers could lose access to shows on traditional television networks as early as today after a Supreme Court justice’s decision yesterday that brings an end to lawsuits that have been tied up in court for more than eight years. The decision stemmed from lawsuits filed by News Corp.’s Fox Network and stations affiliated with the four major networks, all claiming that EchoStar has been illegally offering distant-network signals to customers who are capable of receiving television signals from nearby cities.

Never enough time… in Florida!

  • TiVo attempts to poach Dish customers. (TiVo)
  • EchoStar and DirecTV partner, then drop out of FCC auction. (AP)
  • Nearly glowing review of new Archos 604 PMP (CNET)
  • Sexy little $150 Mac ATSC tuner available for pre-order. (HDBeat)

EchoStar was granted a temporary stay in federal appeals court today. Meaning (you guessed it) more press release posturing! Assuming cooler heads prevail, this should buy both parties some time to work out a licensing deal.

EchoStar says: We are pleased that this morning, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. temporarily blocked an injunction issued by a Texas Court, while it considers a longer-term stay of that injunction. As a result of the stay EchoStar can continue to sell, and provide to consumers, all of its digital video recorder models. We continue to believe the Texas decision was wrong, and should be reversed on appeal. We also continue to work on modifications to our new DVRs, and to our DVRs in the field, intended to avoid future alleged infringement.

TiVo says: We are very pleased by recent developments involving the issuance of a permanent injunction in our patent case against EchoStar by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. The court of appeals temporarily stayed the district court injunction until it reviews the papers submitted by the parties and decides whether a stay should or should not be in effect for the duration of the appeals process. The court stated that the temporary stay is not based on a consideration of the merits of EchoStar’s request, and is entered to preserve the status quo while the court considers the parties’ papers.

Here we go again with the dueling press releases…

TiVo says: “TiVo is pleased that Judge Folsom has granted a permanent injunction against EchoStar’s DVR products along with supplemental damages and interest. This decision recognizes that our intellectual property is valuable and will ensure that moving forward EchoStar will be unable to use our patented technology without our authorization.

“TiVo is built on a strong foundation of innovative technology and intellectual property. Beyond the U.S. Time Warp patent, we now hold more than 86 patents in our worldwide patent portfolio and have more than 138 patent applications pending. TiVo has a long list of licensees in the consumer electronics, cable and satellite markets, and we will continue to license our technology under appropriate circumstances and arrangements. We will also continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property for the benefit of our licensees and shareholders.”

EchoStar says: This morning, EchoStar will ask the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to block an injunction issued by a Texas Court yesterday, while EchoStar appeals that decision. The Texas judge did not grant treble damages or attorney fees to Tivo, but he did let stand the jury decision that EchoStar digital video recorders infringe a Tivo patent, and immediately enjoined continued sale of allegedly infringing DVRs. The injunction would also require that allegedly infringing DVRs in consumer homes be shut off within 30 days.

We are pleased the Court concluded EchoStar did not act in bad faith and did not copy Tivo’s technology, and we intend to continue our vigorous defense of this case. We believe that, for a number of reasons, the Texas Court should be reversed in all other respects on appeal. We also continue to work on modifications to our new DVRs, and to our DVRs in the field, intended to avoid future infringement. Existing DISH Network customers with DVRs are not immediately impacted by these recent developments, and we will keep consumers informed as events develop. We hope to have additional information for our customers very soon.