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TiVo patent win against EchoStar upheld

Appeals court agrees with earlier ruling that EchoStar's digital video recorders infringed on TiVo patent.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. PDT with Dish Network's statement.

Another court has upheld TiVo's patent suit against EchoStar Communications.

A U.S. Appeals Court on Friday denied EchoStar's appeal on an earlier court ruling that said the company's Dish Network digital video recorders violated a patent held by TiVo. The ruling was first reported by Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection blog.

Friday's appellate court decision comes two years after TiVo's initial victory, in which a court found that EchoStar's DVRs (digital video recorders) "willfully infringed" on TiVo's patented TimeWarp technology. EchoStar appealed the ruling, which awarded $73.9 million in damages to TiVo. It was also upheld by an appeals court in January.

Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo first sued EchoStar in 2004 for selling its Dish Network DVR, which, like TiVo's DVR, allows TV watchers to record one channel and watch another simultaneously.

"We are extremely pleased that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today denied EchoStar's petition for a rehearing en banc, upholding the court's unanimous ruling in our favor on January 31, 2008, in EchoStar's appeal of the district court judgment of patent infringement, full award of damages and an order for the injunction to be reinstated," TiVo said in a statement.

EchoStar said it was "disappointed" by the court's decision not to rehear its appeal. "The decision, however, will have no effect on our current or future customers because EchoStar's engineers have developed and deployed 'next-generation' DVR software to our customers' DVRs," the company said in a statement. EchoStar said the updated software has been delivered to its customers and that none of the DVRs currently infringe on TiVo's patent, and promised that customers will see no interruption in service as a result of the ruling.

EchoStar, which has since changed its name to Dish Network, said it plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.