The TiVo share price rose by nearly a third on news that a court affirmed an earlier judgement that satellite broadcaster EchoStar had infringed its software patent. An award of nearly $73 million in damages was upheld, which amounts to $94 million with interest. However, the Court of Appeals in Washington reversed a ruling that EchoStar had infringed on hardware claims.
In a statement, TiVo said that it was “extremely pleased” that the court ruled in its favour in EchoStar’s appeal of a district court judgement of patent infringement. “Today’s ruling is confirmation of the value of TiVo’s IP portfolio, which is in addition to the other benefits TiVo has to offer. TiVo can now continue to focus on its goal to drive greater distribution in both its stand alone and mass distribution efforts.”
For its part, Dish Network said it was pleased with the hardware ruling but disappointed by the decision on the software claims. The company said the court decision will not affect its current or future Dish Network customers as a software update has already been deployed.
“This improved software is fully operational, has been automatically downloaded to current customers, and does not infringe the TiVo patent at issue in the Federal Circuit’s ruling,” said the company. “All Dish Network customers can continue to use their DVRs without any interruption or changes to the award-winning DVR features and services provided by Dish Network.”
TiVo sued EchoStar in 2004, alleging infringement of the so-called “Time Warp” patent it filed nearly a decade ago that allows users to watch one television programme while recording another. The claims at issue concern “the simultaneous storage and play back of multimedia data”.
In August 2006, a District Court judge in Texas awarded against against EchoStar. The satellite broadcaster asked the patent to be re-examined by the Patent and Trademark Office, which effectively confirmed the validity of the patent in November 2007.
The Court of Appeals ruling reverses the previous judgement of infringement of the hardware claims but leaves it open for TiVo to pursue them further. Dish Network says it intends to appeal the ruling.