5:15 PM And Dish and EchoStar are 'pleased' about DVR-related patent sanction because it could've been a whole lot worse

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

September 4, 2009

2 Min Read
Court Awards $200M More to TiVo

5:15 PM -- A Texas court has ordered Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) and its tech and set-top spinoff, EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), to pay $200 million in contempt sanctions tied to its continued violation of TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s "Timewarping" patent, and Charlie Ergen's side is sorta okay about it.

That's because TiVo did not get the $1 billion in sanctions it has originally sought. (See TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B .)

"We are pleased that the district court rejected Tivo's request to award a billion dollars in sanctions and that it found that any violation of the injunction was not willful," Dish and EchoStar said in a joint statement. "While we disagree that any amount of sanctions was warranted, the decision confirms our belief that we designed around Tivo's patent in good faith. We believe that we ultimately will prevail on appeal."

The total damages against EchoStar/TiVo in the case have reached about $400 million so far, according to TiVo, which noted that the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas would "seriously entertain" more sanctions if EchoStar's appeal is unsuccessful.

TiVo's hopeful that latest penalty will draw the case closer to its final conclusion. However, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) has "dismissed" a petition to vacate EchoStar's re-examination of the TiVo patent, claiming that the PTO's conclusions look favorably on a patent workaround developed by Dish and EchoStar. But TiVo contends that it's just a preliminary finding that could be changed once it has a chance to present its side of the story. (See Another Round to Charlie Ergen & Co? and TiVo-Dish DVR Slugfest Rages On .)

Although the TiVo-Dish saga appears to be nearing its final chapter, there's an interesting sequel in the works. Earlier this month, TiVo filed suit against AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), claiming the telcos are infringing on three patents, including the one tied to the EchoStar/Dish case. (See TiVo: AT&T and Verizon Won't Strike a Deal .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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