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TiVo Wins Patent Lawsuit Against EchoStar

A federal court in Marshall, Texas ruled in favor of digital video recorder (DVR) manufacturer TiVo in its patent dispute with satellite operator EchoStar Communications.

The jury found that EchoStar had willfully infringed on TiVo’s “time warping” patent regarding the ability to play one TV show while recording another and the ability to pause live TV, and awarded TiVo $73 million in damages. Judge David Folsom of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, could rule for higher damages in the case.

TiVo says it will seek a permanent injunction against EchoStar’s DVR-equipped set-tops, and claims that the victory puts it in a stronger position to license DVR technology to other satellite and cable operators.

EchoStar said it will appeal the verdict, calling it “the first step in a very long process.” The company said it was confident it would prevail in the long term, and added that it is looking forward to its own patent lawsuit against TiVo, scheduled to go to trial in 2007. That countersuit alleges that TiVo violated four EchoStar patents.

EchoStar says its “DISH Network” subscribers can continue to use existing DVR-equipped set-tops. It also notes that TiVo dropped its claim that EchoStar’s high-end Dishplayer 7200 DVR infringes TiVo’s patent.