Experimental feature

Listen to this article

Experimental feature

EchoStar Communications was ordered to halt the sale and use of several of its digital video recorders (DVRs) by a Federal court in Texas after a jury said in April that the US satellite TV operator infringed on a patent held by TiVo, the US DVR pioneer.

Judge David Folsom also ordered EchoStar, which operates the Dish Network, the second largest US direct broadcasting satellite service with 12.5m subscribers, to pay $5.6m in interest and $10.3m in damages on top of $74m in damages awarded by the jury earlier.

EchoStar’s stock fell 2.6 per cent to $31.90, in early trading on Nasdaq on Friday, while shares in TiVo jumped 17 per cent to $7.60.

Analysts suggested the court ruling could lead to a licensing deal between the companies, and that it may encourage TiVo to challenge other DVR distributors.

The judge’s ruling was the latest step in a lengthy dispute over the DVR technology typically built into TV set-top boxes. Like video tape recorders, hard drive-based DVRs enable viewers to record TV programming for viewing later as well as watch or pause live TV.

TiVo sued EchoStar in the Texas courts in January 2004, alleging that EchoStar was violating a patent issued to TiVo in May 2001, known as the “Time Warp” patent.

Last year, EchoStar countersued, saying TiVo had used technology patented by EchoStar between 1998 and 2003.

If implemented, the injunction would require Dish Network to stop customers using any of eight DVR models supplied by EchoStar within 30 days, EchoStar, however, said it planned to ask the appeals court to block the permanent injunction pending an appeal.

Get alerts on Media when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Comments have not been enabled for this article.

Follow the topics in this article