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Dish Loses Final Appeal Of TiVo Ruling

Washington — The Supreme Court Monday denied Dish Network’s appeal of a $74 million judgment it lost for violating a patent held by TiVo on DVR technology.

The denial of the appeal was issued without comment, and it essentially confirms a ruling last January by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that upheld a lower court ruling that Dish’s DVRs violated some of the intellectual property used in the TiVo software, but overturned the lower-court’s finding that Dish also infringed on Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo’s hardware design.

Responding to the decision, Dish issued a statement saying the Supreme Court decision “does not impact our software design-around, which has been placed in Dish DVR 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.”

The statement also said, “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 originally sued EchoStar (now known as Dish) in 2004, alleging that the satellite-TV service infringed on TiVo’s patents on technology that enables viewers to record one program while watching another.

Originally, the lower court ordered 3 million offending Dish DVRs be shutdown, but the action was put on hold while Dish appealed the ruling.