Hey everyone remember TiVo, the device that revolutionized the way we watched TV by bestowing upon us the ability to warp time? Except for the fact that we had one sitting around where I used to work, I don't either. It turns about they are still alive and have been trying to rip Dish Network a new one since 2004 because of alleged patent infringements. Originally, they sued EchoStar, which is part of Dish Network now for infringing on their patent for their "multimedia time warping system" (wow that sounds cool).
To put it simply, they are referring to the TiVo's ability to record one channel while watching another. Fast forward to 2006 and a federal court ruled that EchoStar had to pay TiVo a whopping 73.9 million for damages but it doesn't stop there. Recently Dish was also ordered to pay $103 million plus interest for continuing to sell DVRs with technology that violates a permanent injunction by federal courts but wait round 3 is coming up next. This dispute has now remained unsettled for 5 years so TiVo went for the killing blow and sued Dish for $1 billion based on the profits they had made from their DVR in this timeframe. Now fortunately for Dish the judge ruled that only $200 million more was justified and said that Dish had made a good faith effort to work around the technology and did not willingly infringe TiVo's patent.
TiVo released a statement saying,
We are pleased by the court's ruling to impose contempt sanctions of approximately $200 million against EchoStar for its continued violation of a court-ordered permanent injunction...We are confident that this ruling brings us closer to final resolution.
Dish also made a statement,
We are pleased that the district court rejected TiVo's request to award a billion dollars in sanctions and that it found that any violation of the injunction was not willful. While we disagree that any amount of sanctions was warranted, the decision confirms our belief that we designed around TiVo's patent in good faith. We believe that we ultimately will prevail on appeal.
Somehow I think that TiVo's "final resolution" is to force Dish into bankruptcy then buy what's left with the $376.9 million they have received thus far and burning them to the ground while broadcasting it so everyone so their new TiVos can suggest they watch it. I would be careful though if I were them with all the satellites Dish owns one of them might send some concentrated microwave energy towards TiVo corporate headquarters.
What do you think about this slug fest?