TiVo v EchoStar Update, Part 1

Davis Freeberg believes recent developments in the TiVo/Echostar patent infringement suit may indicate an imminent settlement. -DZ

In the latest twist for the blogosphere’s favorite patent telenovela, the Federal Appeals court overseeing the current stage of TiVo’s patent case against Dish, has put EchoStar’s patent appeal on pause for the next 14 days, pending the settlement of the case. According to the Pacer court of appeals website, the following entry was recorded last night.

10/30/2006: ORDERED: Briefing schedule stayed. EchoStar to notify this court within 14 days of date of disposition of final postjudgment motion in dist ct. By: Motions Panel. Judge: Gajarsa
SERVICE: by Mail on 10/30/2006

In addition to this order item, there was also the following action posted on the site:

ACTION: Entry 27: Motion moot

While I don’t play a legal expert on TV or even pretend to understand the subtle legalese of the Pacer website, I did contact a friend of mine who is an attorney in Texas, and he said that the order likely meant that TiVo and Echostar are very close to a settlement, but that the details haven’t been completely finalized.

With Dish Networks facing the discontinuation of their DVR service and with TiVo facing an even longer legal battle ahead, after Dish succesfully won a stay on the order shutting down their service, it appears that cooler heads may actually end up prevailing. While details on this development are sparse at this time, we may know soon enough whether or not TiVo and EchoStar can put this chapter behind them and move forward with a mutually agreeable settlement to the legal quandry that both companies have found themselves in.

While my friend cautioned me that things could still end up falling apart, he felt that, based on the court’s action, it would be unusual for TiVo and Echostar to not reach an agreement at this stage in the case.

Take all of this with a decent dose of skeptism of course, but it’s entirely possible that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to TiVo’s patent litigation after all.

Davis Freeberg is a technology enthusiast living in the Bay Area. He enjoys writing about movies, music & and the impact that digital technology is having on traditional media. You can read more of his coverage on technology at www.davisfreeberg.com. Davis owns shares of TiVo stock.

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