TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B

When it comes to its protracted DVR patent case with EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) is not just out for blood. It also wants Charlie Ergen & Co. to shell out "nearly $1 billion in contempt sanctions."

That's according a reply EchoStar filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. [Ed note: Zatz Not Funny has the entire filing posted here.]

This is just the latest chapter in the TiVo/EchoStar saga, which centers on TiVo's "Time Warp" patent. In early June, the same Texas court found Dish and its EchoStar tech spinoff in contempt of court and ordered them to pay TiVo another $103 million. That blow was hardened by an injunction that gave Dish 30 days to disable the DVR functionality in roughly 4 million satellite receivers/set-tops that houses software that allegedly infringe on the TiVo patent. The court likewise did not side with EchoStar's claim that a new version of software properly worked around the TiVo patent, noting that "any differences between the infringing and modified products are no more than colorable." (See EchoStar, Dish to Pay TiVo $103M.)

Dish and EchoStar did get a small reprieve, however, when a Federal Appeals Court in Washington temporarily stayed the district court's order to disable the allegedly offending DVRs. (See Court Grants Dish a Stay.)

In the Monday filing, EchoStar and Dish argued that it would be "improper at this juncture to impose sanctions as a means of coercing compliance" because the stay order indicates that the companies had "demonstrated at least a substantial case on the merits."

TiVo was not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

If TiVo is able to extract another $1 billion from its DVR foes, the final tally would inch closer to a "worst case scenario" envisioned earlier by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett. But rather than factoring in any "contempt sanctions" being sought be TiVo, he calculated that the costs related to the case could reach about $1.6 billion if Dish was forced to replace as many as 4 million DVRs, based on a rough estimate of $400 per box, plus truckroll expenses.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:00:32 PM
re: TiVo Wants Ergen to Dish Out $1B

A fed judge in Texas scheduled a July 28 hearing on TiVo's request to smack  Dish with the big sanction...


Sign In