Video services

Another Round to Charlie Ergen & Co?

4:40 PM -- Charlie Ergen sure knows how to deliver a counterpunch.

Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and its tech and set-top spinoff, EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), claimed in a joint statement released this afternoon that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) has "dismissed" a TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) petition to vacate EchoStar's re-examination of the DVR pioneer's "Timewarping" patent, central to the protracted legal battle between the companies. (See Dish: PTO Dismisses TiVo Petition.)

Earlier this month, the PTO issued an "office action" that invalidated two claims linked to the all-important patent. At the time, Dish and EchoStar said the PTO's conclusions were "highly relevant" to the case, confirming the "reasonableness of EchoStar's positions on its designaround" of the TiVo patent. (See TiVo-Dish DVR Slugfest Rages On .)

TiVo, which is looking to extract up to $1 billion in sanctions, stressed then that it was just a "preliminary finding" that emerged before TiVo had a chance to present its side of the legal story. (See TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B , EchoStar, Dish to Pay TiVo $103M, and Court Grants Dish a Stay.)

"The PTO's decision clears the way for the re-examination to continue, which we believe will result in a Final Office Action invalidating the software claims of TiVo's patent," Dish/EchoStar asserted.

TiVo's sure to have a response post-haste. Dish and EchoStar released the statement about an hour before TiVo was scheduled to discuss its fiscal second quarter numbers… not that Charlie Ergen & Co. meant to do that or anything.

UPDATE: On today's call, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers claimed that Dish/EchoStar may have jumped the gun, claiming that TiVo has "not yet presented any information at all to the examiner in connection with the review." Likewise, he's confident that the PTO proceedings won't have any impact on EchoStar's appeal.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:57:54 PM
re: Another Round to Charlie Ergen & Co?

TiVo has yet to discuss the latest news regarding its spat with Dish, but TiVo just announced it's now going after Verizon and A&T too...a couple more reasons why  Comcast, RCN, Evolution Broadband, Cox, and DirecTV should at least be sorta happy they have deals with the suddenly very litigious TiVo:

Snipped from the release (Tivo's earnings call is about to start momentarily):

Against AT&T and Verizon Communications in United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas; Seeking Damages and Injunction

ALVISO, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO - News) today filed complaints in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas against AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications, Inc. for infringement of the following three TiVo patents U.S. Patent Nos. 6,233,389 B1 ("Multimedia Time Warping System"), 7,529,465 B2 ("System for Time Shifting Multimedia Content Streams"), and 7,493,015 B1 ("Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System"). The complaints seek damages for past infringement and a permanent injunction, similar to that issued by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas against DISH/EchoStar.



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