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TiVo, the company behind “time warping” digital video recorders, on Thursday won a lawsuit against satellite television operator EchoStar for infringing its patents.
The jury in a Texas court awarded TiVo more than $73m compensation for lost profits and royalties after it agreed with the company that EchoStar had appropriated some of TiVo’s technology for its own DVRs.
“This decision recognises that our intellectual property is valuable and will ensure that moving forward EchoStar and any others that want to use our patented technology will be required to provide us with compensation,” TiVo said.
TiVo, which is also seeking a permanent injunction against EchoStar’s own DVR products, invented the technology, which allows viewers to pause, rewind and slow-motion live TV and record hours of programmes.
However, satellite TV companies have been offering customers DVRs in their battle with cable companies who are in turn providing set top boxes with hard drives.
TiVo has agreements with other satellite companies, including DirecTV, the largest satellite TV provider in the US, which incorporate TiVo services for a fee. But EchoStar, the owner of the Dish satellite TV network, argued that the parameters of TiVo’s patent were too wide.
“Among other things, we believe the patent - as interpreted in this case - is overly broad given the technology in existence when TiVo filed its patent,” EchoStar said following the court decision, vowing to fight on.
TiVo said it would continue to “vigorously” defend its intellectual property - a factor that combined with the decision in its favour may prompt other companies to reach a deal with the company.
The news lifted TiVo shares 20 per cent to $9.65 in after hours trading on Thursday.