EchoStar Gets Breathing Room in TiVo Case

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EchoStar customers can continue using their digital video recorder (DVR)-equipped set-tops for the foreseeable future, or at least as long as it takes EchoStar to appeal a court ruling against it in the satellite operator's long-running patent-dispute with DVR supplier TiVo.

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted EchoStar's request to stay an injunction issued against it on August 17 by a U.S. District Court, pending EchoStar's appeal. That injunction, issued by Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge David Folsom, finalized an earlier court ruling that EchoStar had infringed on TiVo's time-shifting patents and called for EchoStar to shut down its DVR service within 30 days and pay TiVo $89.6 million in damages. EchoStar quickly secured a stay of Folsom's order from the U.S. Court of Appeals, and Monday's ruling upholds that stay for the length of EchoStar's appeal.

“We are pleased the Federal Court found that EchoStar has a 'substantial case on the merits' and blocked the Texas decision for the duration of the appeal," declared EchoStar in a statement. "This action by the Federal Court reinforces our belief that the Texas court made significant errors during the trial process and we look forward to complete vindication of our position. As a result of the Court action, our customers will not be disrupted and all of our DVR models will continue to be available through the EchoStar distribution system.”

For its part, TiVo remains confident that it will ultimately be vindicated.

"We are confident that the jury's decision in TiVo's favor will be upheld once the Federal Circuit has the opportunity to review the entire record in this case," said TiVo in a statement. "It is important to note that most injunctions in patent cases are stayed pending appeal, and the appeal itself will be decided on a totally different standard of review."

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