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DISH PVRs Not Dark Yet

8/18/2006 01:44:00 PM Eastern

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – EchoStar said a Federal Appeals Court has blocked a Texas Court injunction this week that would have forced the satellite TV provider to cut off service to certain DISH Network digital video recorders (DVRs) that allegedly infringed TiVo patents.

The decision temporarily blocks an order from Marshall, Texas U.S. District Judge David Folsom that EchoStar disable the DVRs used by several million DISH subscribers within 30 days. The move would have shut down all but 192,708 DVRs used by DISH subscribers.

Four months earlier a jury ruled that EchoStar should pay TiVo $74.9 million for infringing TiVo’s DVR patents that allow for the digital storage of TV programming.

The Texas judge did not grant requested treble damages or attorney fees to TiVo, but he ordered EchoStar to pay an additional $5.4 million in interest payments and $10.3 million in supplemental damages, bringing the amount EchoStar owes TiVo to nearly $90 million. He also let stand the jury decision that EchoStar DVRs infringe a TiVo patent, and immediately enjoined continued sale of allegedly infringing DVRs.

But EchoStar said the Texas judge also ruled that the satellite operator “did not act in bad faith and did not copy TiVo’s technology, and we intend to continue our vigorous defense of this case,” EchoStar said.

“We believe that, for a number of reasons, the Texas Court should be reversed in all other respects on appeal. We also continue to work on modifications to our new DVRs, and to our DVRs in the field, intended to avoid future infringement,” said the DISH operator.

Responding to the Appeals Court decision to block the injunction, TiVo said:

“We are very pleased by recent developments involving the issuance of a permanent injunction in our patent case against EchoStar by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. The court of appeals temporarily stayed the district court injunction until it reviews the papers submitted by the parties and decides whether a stay should or should not be in effect for the duration of the appeals process.

“The court stated that the temporary stay is not based on a consideration of the merits of EchoStar's request, and is entered to preserve the status quo while the court considers the parties' papers,” TiVo’s statement concluded.

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