BREAKING: EchoStar & DISH to (finally) pay TiVo

Dave Zatz —  October 6, 2008

After knocking around in the judicial system for several years, TiVo’s patent infringement case may finally see (some) closure. As EchoStar & DISH’s appeal will not be tackled by the Supreme Court, they’ve announced their intentions to pay TiVo the original $104 million award (including interest) shortly. Of course, this may just be the first installment… There’s potentially more cash at play, pending claims of continued infringement and the contempt hearing outcome.

EchoStar & DISH’s response:

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) and EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court in EchoStar Communications Corporation vs. Tivo: “As expected, the Supreme Court denied our petition for certiorari today. The Supreme Court’s decision, however, does not impact our software design-around, which has been placed in DISH DVRs subject to the district court’s injunction, and our customers can continue using their DISH DVRs. We believe that the design-around does not infringe Tivo’s patent and that Tivo’s pending motion for contempt should be denied. We look forward to that ruling in the near future. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision, we will pay Tivo approximately $104 million (the amount the jury awarded in 2006 plus interest). The money is in an escrow account and will be released to Tivo in the next few days.

TiVo’s response:

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and leader in television products and services for digital video recorders (DVR), offered the following statement today on the ruling by the United States Supreme Court to deny an appeal by EchoStar Communications Corporation: “We are extremely pleased that the United States Supreme Court has denied EchoStar’s petition to review the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimous ruling that upheld the District Court judgment of willful patent infringement, full award of damages, and a permanent injunction against EchoStar’s infringing DVR products. We look forward to the expeditious receipt of damages awarded by the District Court covering the period through September 8, 2006 and remain confident that the District Court will enforce the injunction and award further damages from EchoStar’s continued infringement of our Time Warp patent.”

15 responses to BREAKING: EchoStar & DISH to (finally) pay TiVo

  1. About darn time! I wish they would make up and offer Dish TiVos.

  2. **CORRECTION** TiVo’s response:

    “…TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and leader in television products and services for digital video recorders (DVR), offered the following statement today on the ruling by the United States Supreme Court to deny an appeal by EchoStar Communications Corporation: Woo Hoo! Cha-Ching! We’re buying the beer!”

  3. In other news, TiVo announces second profitable quarter…

  4. I hope Dish “does not” start using Tivo software. The Tivo interface sold out long ago to advertisements. It’s cluttered. I much prefer my Dish VIP-622 that I have downstairs to the Tivo in our family room. Plus with the Sling technology hopefully coming down the pipe in future DVR’s it will definitely have a leg up.

  5. Scott I can’t disagree with you more, I’ve been hoping & waiting that the end result of this will be a DishTiVo.

    I’m a happy customer of both Dish and TiVo but I’m starting to really want HD (have had an HDTV for years but no HD signal).

    I don’t want a crappy (IMO) Dish DVR, but I would stop watching TV altogether before I became a customer of Time Warner so no HD TiVo for me.

    Who knows, maybe I’ll switch to DirecTV now that they are partnering up with TiVo again.

  6. Although the current TiVo UI is VERY out dated, I still prefer it to the Dish DVR. Bu that is NOT the point, Dish should just bit the bullet and license the UI and offer it as a premium service. I know I for one have never consider Dish Network as a provider because I don’t like their DVR, and that is saying something as I’ve had three providers over the past 3 years.

  7. This ruling has nothing to do with Dish going to the TiVo software. If the judge rules the current software still violates TiVo’s patents, then the worse case scenario for Echostar (other than more penalties/fines) is they have to get into a license agreement with TiVo.

  8. Well Robert, I guess we agree to disagree. In the beginning the tivo interface rocked. But when the main interface is now covered with ads for the latest BMW car or whatever, that’s to invasive.

  9. John–ick.

    I’m no apologist for the current Tivo interface. Its obviously behind the times, with its heavy use of text and the somewhat painful inclusion of pointless advertisements. Yet, its still an easy to use an acceptable interface for a DVR.

    What it isn’t at this point is an acceptable interface for anything else. Subscribing to podcasts. listening to your music, browsing your photos, or even renting a movie are all painfully backwards compared to say the same experience on an Apple TV. And I’m not even sure the Apple TV’s interface is that amazing… but at least it has little pictures of the movie covers, and manages to sort the TV episodes into order, etc.

    Obviously Tivo is focusing on their added value lately, i.e. all of the above. And they’ve got some work to do there…

    Still, no love for EchoStar even though I don’t think they violated Tivo’s original patent (given that they simply record the already encoded digital stream…)

  10. Congrats, Tivo. Why innovate when you can litigate yourself into profitability?

    Booo!

  11. Alexi you are way way way off base on this one, TiVo did in-fact innovate.

    If you look at the case TiVo came up with their product and approached many companies including DirecTV and Dish to see about licensing it.

    DirecTV licensed it, but Dish declined to license, “lost” their evaluation unit and shortly afterward came out with their own “DVR”s which ripped off TiVo’s.

    TiVo is not a “Patent Troll” (ala NTP) they are a real company who came up with real innovations and then marketed those in actual products.

    This is an example of the patent system actually working as intended, albeit over a much too long time period.

  12. Robert,
    I’m only off-base if you think I agree at all with patent law– which I don’t.

  13. I think patent law as it stands today is in bad need of reform but without the basic idea of patents small companies/inventors would never stand a chance.