The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday affirmed the
validity of TiVo's so-called Time Warp DVR patent, reversing the
agency's ruling this summer -- after a second re-examination requested
by EchoStar and Dish Network -- that the patent was invalid because some
of the claims were covered in two prior patents.
The decision by the PTO is final and cannot be appealed by Dish/EchoStar. Dish and EchoStar declined to comment on the latest ruling.
Time Warp patent is central to TiVo's patent-infringement litigation
against Dish and EchoStar, which dates back to January 2004. The patent,
U.S. Patent No. 6,233,389 ("Multimedia Time Warping System") describes a
DVR system that allows for simultaneous storage and playback of TV
programming from a cable or satellite source.