Judge delays EchoStar suit against TiVo

29 Aug 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) A federal judge has handed the owner of the Dish satellite TV network another setback in its feud with TiVo, delaying a countersuit against the pioneer in digital video recording technology.

US magistrate judge Caroline M. Craven of Texarkana blocked EchoStar Communications' patent-infringement lawsuit against TiVo and Humax USA while the US Patent and Trademark Office reviews patents claimed by EchoStar.

Craven, who issued the stay last month, made it final when EchoStar declined to appeal, TiVo spokesman Elliot Sloane said.

TiVo sued EchoStar in 2004, and in April a jury in Marshall found that EchoStar had infringed on a TiVo patent in making its own set-top box with DVR capabilities.

This month, the judge who presided over that trial ordered EchoStar to pay $89.6 million in damages, more than the jury had awarded.

The trial judge, David Folsom, also ordered EchoStar to disable more than 3 million of its DVRs that jurors found used elements of TiVo technology, but a federal appeals court this month delayed Folsom's order while the case is appealed.

EchoStar filed its own lawsuit against TiVo in 2005. TiVo issued a statement saying it was pleased with Craven's decision to delay the countersuit while the government reviews EchoStar's patents. TiVo charges that patent officials failed to review older technology that would make EchoStar's patent claims invalid.

The countersuit had been scheduled for trial early next year.

© 2006 The Associated Press

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