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Tivo vs. Dish Network Explained

Perhaps one of the most sought after technologies available to television viewers today has also become one of the most contentious pieces as well. DVR technology was developed by a small company named TiVo back in 1999. When it was first attempting to market its new design TiVo took a prototype to DISH Network.

The story goes that DISH actually kept the prototype and integrated that technology into a DVR system of its own. This technology which allows television users to both store and retrieve videos in a digital format has since become wildly popular. It has become so popular in fact that many people equate the name of the company, TiVo, with the equipment itself. People will ask if another is going to “TiVo” a show.

In 2004 TiVo decided to take DISH Network to court for patent infringement due to the similarities of the DISH technology to its own. TiVo won the case as well as the subsequent appeal filed by DISH in district court. TiVo was paid $104 million by DISH to cover both damages and interest for the duration that it had made use of the suspect technology.

The court also barred DISH from using the TiVo-based technology on any of its equipment both existing and future. Immediately following this loss DISH Network attempted a design-around that would not violate TiVo’s patent. The U.S. District Court in Marshall Texas, however, felt that the new design was not acceptable and ordered an additional $103 million be awarded as well as $200 million for sanctions covering its contempt of the cease-and-desist order.

DISH continues to appeal, believing that eventually the court of appeals will yield an acceptable verdict. It also continues to try to develop a design-around that the courts, and TiVo, will accept. TiVo has stated that it will continue to seek damages as long as its technology is being used by DISH Network.

2 Responses to “Tivo vs. Dish Network Explained”

[…] for more opportunities to enhance its boxes on the heels of their long-running court battle with Tivo regarding their DVR functionality. A case Tivo ultimately won, which may impact millions of Dish DVR […]

[…] Wall Street Smiles on Dish Network By Erik A welcomed increase in the value of shares of Dish Network Corp. comes just in time. This has taken place thanks to an upgrade by a Collins Stewart analyst. The reason given for the boost is that the stocks now include much of the cost of the expensive court defeat from the company’s ongoing battle with TiVo Inc. […]

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