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Monday, 02 June 2008 06:46

Dish/EchoStar sues TiVo

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Wants court to say that new DVR does not infringe


The ongoing saga between Dish Network and TiVo will continue with a filing by Dish/EchoStar against TiVo that asks the court to find that the latest new Dish/EchoStar digital video recorder software does not infringe on TiVo patents. In the last round of the war between the two combatants, TiVo was the victor, with the court finding that the Dish DVR did, in fact, infringe on TiVo’s patents.

The case is significant, because TiVo is looking to establish the validity of its patents, which could in the end lead to a significant royalty stream for TiVo. In addition, TiVo, of course, wants to protect the technology that it has developed.

TiVo is largely recognized as the father of the DVR revolution, but due to a variety of issues in coming to agreements with satellite and cable TV providers, many people that have a DVR call it a TiVo; when in fact, it isn’t a TiVo at all because it is running software that isn’t from TiVo. Many cable and satellite providers have elected to go it without the TiVo name or branding because they can make more money using solutions other than paying for a TiVo-developed solution.

Currently, TiVo has been focused on the cable market space in the U.S.; with the introduction of cablecard technology the latest HD TiVo boxes are able to do incredible things while being able to integrate into the cable technology without a problem. In addition, TiVo has been working with some cable companies that have started offering the TiVo software as an upgrade on cable company-owned DVR boxes.

The TiVo interface is recognized as the leader by more consumers as easier to use and offering more features than what is offered by typical DVRs provided by cable and satellite providers. Still, customers from satellite provider DirecTV are begging for an updated HD satellite receiver that offers TiVo. The TiVo satellite receiver that was developed for DirecTV remains as one of the must successful TiVo receivers that the company has produced.

With cable and satellite providers refusing to work with TiVo, the company has taken to enforcing the variety of patents that the company owns for DVR technology to stop companies from infringing on their technology and to preserve their intellectual property rights. If the rulings continue to be in TiVo’s favor, this could force cable and satellite providers to either put licensing agreements in place with TiVo or agree to start offering a TiVo solution. The wins in court have been good for TiVo’s bottom line, as the company, after many years of losing money, seems to finally be pointed in the right direction.

Last modified on Monday, 02 June 2008 10:14

David Stellmack

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