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TiVo awarded $200 million in battle against EchoStar, which vows to hit replay

The long-running feud between TiVo and EchoStar's Dish Network took another twist today with a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Texas telling the satellite broadcaster to cough up almost $200 million to TiVo for using the digital video recorder's technology and violating its patent.

Both sides, of course, are claiming victory. TiVo said it was pleased with the ruling while EchoStar took solace in U.S. District Judge David Folsom's rejection of TiVo's request for a reward of almost $1 billion. EchoStar said it would appeal the ruling. For the skinny and nitty gritty, go to Bloomberg.

All totaled, EchoStar's Dish has been asked to pay TiVo $400 million so far. Earlier this year, Folsom told Echostar to pay $192.7 million for violating the patent up to April 2008. The latest award is for violations of the patent since then.

Sounds like the only ones on the EchoStar side who can really claim victory are their lawyers who will rake up more billable hours working on the appeal.

-- Joe Flint
 
Comments () | Archives (2)

Recording video off the air has been legal ever since Sony came out with the Betamax, later JVC did the VHS tape. --- Kindly explain why using a hard drive to record video is any different than using tape. --- So the recording media is different, so what the hey? --- Remember that a hard drive is just another way of recording which uses magnetic technology. --- Now we have more lawyers running around in dizzy little circles trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Sony invented the alternate-azimuth, helical scan video recording process that made home video cassettes practical, and then licensed that technology to JVC who developed VHS. Sony and JVC licensed their formats to other manufacturers who made Beta and VHS recorders. No upstart company ever tried to make a video recorder without licensing those formats.

TiVo believes, and apparently has gotten courts to agree, that its patents on hard disk recording and scheduling cover all devices that accomplish these functions, even if they were developed independently. Apparently DirecTV and the cable-box companies agreed and licensed TiVo's technology, whereas Dish has refused.

--Gary


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