As many of you know, the next two weeks are critical in determining TiVo Inc’s future. If they are able to prevail in defending their “time warp” patent versus Dish Network, with court proceedings beginning today, TiVo should be able to work out royalty arrangements with other DVR providers – in or out of the courtroom.
Reuters says: TiVo Chief Executive Tom Rogers last month said a Tivo victory in the case could open the door to either a bounty of payments, since TiVo could then file similar suits against other DVR distributors, or more licensing agreements. “It will certainly cause people to think long and hard not only about Tivo’s brand … and the best of our engineering, but on a whole different level of what we mean in the mix if our intellectual property is upheld in the courts,” Rogers said at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit.
Satellite providers have used DVRs, which allow viewers to pause live television and record dozens of hours of programing, to woo customers away from cable companies. In turn, more and more cable providers are placing cable boxes with DVRs in their subscribers’ homes. A court win might empower TiVo to challenge the technology in other DVRs. However, EchoStar, a far larger company than Tivo whose 2005 revenue of over $8 billion is more than 40 times that of its rival, could perhaps outlast TiVo during an extended appeals process, even if it doesn’t defeat TiVo in court.