Print 12 comment(s) - last by Lazarus Dark.. on May 3 at 9:01 PM

DISH Network and EchoStar agreed to pay $500 million to TiVo

After years of patent litigation, TiVo Inc., EchoStar Corporation, and DISH Network Corporation have finally settled on certain terms. 

TiVo Inc. developed and marketed the digital video recorder, or DVR, which is a system for recording television programs. It was introduced in 1999, and allows users to record television shows as well as search for shows to record based on their interests though the "WishList" option. When the DVR is connected to a home network, users can perform an advanced search, online scheduling, download movies and television shows, and view personal photos. 

In 2004, TiVo filed a lawsuit claiming that DISH and EchoStar had violated its patents with the DVR technology they were distributing to customers. Since then, an ongoing war has ensued, where many battles ended in TiVo's favor.

Now, under the terms of the latest settlement, DISH and EchoStar agreed to pay $500 million to TiVo. The first $300 million will be paid up front while the other $200 million will be paid in six annual payments between 2012 and 2017. 

In addition, TiVo granted DISH Network a license under its Time Warp patent, which is US Patent No. 6,233,389, and some other related patents during their lifespan. As for EchoStar, TiVo granted it a license under the same patent as well as other related patents for the lifespan of said patents. EchoStar can only make certain DVR-enabled products for DISH Network and two international customers only. In return, EchoStar granted TiVo a license under specific DVR-related patents "for TiVo-branded, co-branded and ingredient-branded products."

At this point, TiVo, DISH Network and EchoStar have agreed to end all pending litigation. EchoStar and DISH Network noted that they have "tremendous respect" for TiVo, and are pleased by the outcome of the long-lasting litigation. EchoStar and DISH Network believe they now have a competitive advantage by owning the rights to operate under TiVo's Time Warp patent, and are happy to put all of this legal business behind them. 

TiVo shares their sentiment. In fact, TiVo will help DISH Network with the Blockbuster digital video service. 

"We are extremely pleased to reach an agreement with DISH Network and EchoStar which recognizes the value of our intellectual property," said Tom Rogers, president and CEO of TiVo. "The compensation from this settlement, including the resulting reduction in legal expenditures, puts TiVo in an enviable financial and strategic position. This settlement, which brings the total compensation paid by DISH Network for use of TiVo's '389 patent family to over $600 million, demonstrates the significant return afforded to our shareholders by diligent enforcement of TiVo's intellectual property rights. Those efforts will aggressively continue with other parties."

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oh great
By Lazlo Panaflex on 5/2/2011 12:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
So, Dish Network, when can we expect those costs to be paszed on to the customer? I'm sure a three month "free preview" of HBO will soften the blow, right?


RE: oh great
By bah12 on 5/2/2011 2:23:55 PM , Rating: 3
You mean the costs that you should have been paying already since you've enjoyed WAY cheaper DVR boxes as a result of IP infringement.

Anyone who has follwed the DVR phenomenon knows that it all started with TiVO. They quite literally revolutionized the way we watch TV (I cannot fathom going back to pre dvr). Them and ONLY them did, it is really sad that such a revolutionary idea was rewarded by everyone ripping them off. IMO this is an inverse failing of the patent system than what is normally reported. CLEARLY Tivo was ahead of its time, and a truly unique implementation of technology. What did they get for their efforts? Copied, and litigated out of business. Are we really better off with the subpar generic DRV crap top boxes from the cable and satellite guys today? IMO, no we are far worse.

And far more dire what does this say to the next big idea? The Sat guys and cable guys simply copied them, and forced Tivo to sue. By the time that came to fruition Tivo was a dead name. Basic business 101 for the big guys why ask permission when it is eaiser to ask forgiveness. They knowingly ripped the idea off just to get their boxes in the market, knowing good and well that even if Tivo was successful it would be too late.

We as a society have become a nation of litigation, he with the deepest pockets wins, even when blatantly wrong.

RE: oh great
By Kary on 5/3/2011 5:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly Tivo patented something that I had to explain to my parent's why their VCR (Yes, VCR) couldn't do. To give you an idea of what a technological innovation this was I also had to set the time for them so it wouldn't blink.

(for those of you who want specifics: Why isn't the TV pausing when I press Pause? ....because this hasn't been recorded yet. )

An idea ahead of it time...technologically only.

We as a society have become a nation of litigation, he with the deepest pockets wins, even when blatantly wrong.

So true, hate you Tivo and stupid software patents.

RE: oh great
By Lazarus Dark on 5/3/2011 9:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know who invented the dvr, but it wasn't tivo.
ATI already had a dvr tuner card for windows in 1996. I'm not sure how tivo ever got their patents. (though I think they were probably the first with a standalone box dvr in the US)

And I'm even reasonably sure Japan had standalone dvr devices before tivo came out, though most of Japans stuff never makes it over here, so it wouldn't count as a prior work for patent purposes.

RE: oh great
By ReclusiveOrc on 5/2/2011 2:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
This is what the 4.99 dvr fee was created to pay for back in 2002 when the 508/721 came out.

RE: oh great
By OAKside24 on 5/2/2011 2:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
I kind of agree, but at least Dish has a history of keeping prices the lowest (albeit not by much these days), and making an effort to truthfully explain price changes, even compensating with "gifts" (like a year of Starz for free). That said, customers expecting low prices from Dish (their specialty?) will probably not tolerate more than the ~$5 increase that was recently applied, and shouldn't have to now that the prices are supposedly locked for two years.

RE: oh great
By Alphafox78 on 5/2/2011 4:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
If you call them they can remove the stars and give you a $5 credit for 6 months. if you push it further you can have a level 2 guy give you 12 months if you press through his baloney and are persistant.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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