Video services

The Final Chapter?

It might appear that the DVR patent spat between TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) has reached its long overdue conclusion. But appearances can be deceiving.

TiVo issued a statement today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., has denied the satellite company's request for a rehearing. As one might expect, the DVR pioneer is "extremely pleased," noting that the latest ruling "brings us closer to resolution of EchoStar's infringement." (See Court Denies EchoStar Petition.)

In late January, TiVo shares surged after an appeals court upheld its claim that Dish infringed on TiVo's "Time Warp" patent. Denial of a rehearing could put the satco on the hook for about $74 million in damages and possibly force it to nail down a software licensing deal. (See TiVo Digs DVR Ruling .)

In March, Dish filed a petition with the appeals court, claiming that the earlier ruling based its findings on inaccurate testimony from a TiVo witness. (See Dish Wants DVR Case Do-Over .)

In a statement, Dish said it was "disappointed" in the court's decision not to grant a rehearing, but it's not about to give up the fight. Far from it.

"We intend to appeal the Federal Circuit's ruling to the United States Supreme Court," Dish added.

Dish also echoed its belief that the circuit court's decision would not affect its DVR customers because Dish's engineers had devised and deployed some "next-generation" software tantamount to a patent workaround.

That software is fully operational and has been automatically downloaded to current DVR customers, Dish added.

But the TiVo news rounded out a rough day for Dish. Earlier on Friday, SES Americom declared the AMC-14 satellite "a total loss." (See Court Denies EchoStar Petition, Bird Problems , and Dish: It's All Good.)

TiVo shares were up just 29 cents (3.30%) to $9.07 each in midday trading Friday. Dish was down 85 cents (2.69%) to $30.78 per share.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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