A federal court has ordered EchoStar—now part of Dish Networkpay DVR pioneer TiVo an additional $103 million for infringing on TiVo’s DVR patents. The new award follows a judgement last year in which EchoStar was ordered to pay TiVo $104 million. In the decision, the judge rejected EchoStar’s attempt to work around TiVo’s so-called “time warp” patent with alternative technology. The judge also found EchoStar to be in contempt of court, and ordered an earlier injunction against EchoStar’s DVR functionality now be fully enforced.
In a statement, TiVo said it is “extremely gratified by the Court’s well reasoned and thorough decision.”
The ruling may mark the last stand in a patent battle that’s been dragging on for years, with the judge’s latest decision seeming to leave EchoStar little option but to negotiate a license for TiVo’s technology or pull DVR functionality out of its products altogether.
EchoStar has famously delayed the case as much as it can, engaging in a year-long effort to work around TiVo’s patent and avoid enforcement of the existing injunction, and countersuing TiVo on DVR patents. EchoStar has said it plans to appeal the decision, however, and will ask the judge to delay enforcement of the injunction on the grounds that it would risk losing a large number of customers if it were to yank DVR capabilities from its products.
Dish customers with digital recording capabilities won’t be immediately impacted by the ruling…but unless EchoStar acts fast, a significant portion of their customers may find their DVR capabilities going away in the near future.
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