Feeds

Judge orders Echostar to disable set-top DVR

Awards Tivo $103m in patent suit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Satellite TV provider EchoStar has been ordered to disable DVR functionality in their set-top boxes and pay Tivo $103 million for allegedly infringing on the company's digital video recorder patent.

US District Court in Texas on Wednesday ruled Echostar, a spin-off of Dish Network, is in contempt of an injunction on DVR tech that lets users store and playback live television.

Echo had originally lost a 2004 patent infringement case filed by Tivo, and while appealing the case, it reprogrammed the set-top-box software to work around the contentious patents. Tivo claimed the DVR tech still infringes on its intellectual property, and today, it was granted a new injunction by the court.

The $103m plus interest payment goes on top of $105m awarded in the original judgment.

"The harm caused to Tivo by Echostar's contempt is substantial. Echostar has gained millions of customers since this Court's injunction issued, customers that are now potentially unreachable by Tivo," US District Judge David Folsom wrote in the court opinion.

Folsom ordered Echostar to disable DVR functionality within 30 days for "all but 192,708 units of the Infringing Products that have been placed with an end-user or subscriber."

Echostar has already re-appealed the decision and injunction. The company has not responded to El Reg's request for comment and clarification on the implications of Folsom's ruling, but issued a public statement claiming existing Dish Network customers with DVRs are "not immediately impacted by these recent developments."

"We believe a stay is warranted and that we have strong grounds for appeal," Echostar stated. "Our engineers spent close to a year designing-around Tivo's patent and removed the very features that Tivo said infringed at trial."

Tivo issued a statement saying, "Echostar may attempt to further delay this case but we are very pleased the Court has made it clear that there are major ramifications for continued infringement." ®

Update

A US appeals court on Wednesday temporarily halted the Texas court's order that Echostar must disable DVR capabilities in its set-top boxes within 30 days. Tivo must respond by June 10 to the motion for a stay pending Echostar's appeal.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.