TiVo vs. EchoStar: Nearing a Decision?

On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied EchoStar’s request for a rehearing of their case with TiVo. TiVo has complained that EchoStar — parent company of the Dish Network satellite TV service — had violated TiVo’s patents. The complaint centered around hardware and software used in Dish Network’s digital video recorders (DVRs), and prior court decisions were in TiVo’s favor on the software complaint (but the hardware portion was dismissed.

EchoStar issued a press release Friday claiming that they had already upgraded the software so that it does not infringe on TiVo’s patents. The press release stated that “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.” Does stating that the new software does not infringe imply that the old software did?

The big item remaining to be settled is the fact that a lower court awarded $94 million to TiVo in damages. Add this to the all-but-failed launch of a new satellite last month, and Dish Network is facing a number of serious challenges in the coming year.