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Echostar Loses TiVo Patent Case On Appeal; Must Pay $73 Million

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TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO) has gained another major victory in its grueling patent lawsuit against Echostar (NSDQ: SATS) (which is now split into EchoStar Holding and Dish Network): a federal appeals court affirmed that EchoStar had been illegally using the DVR software, thus infringing a TiVo patent, and must pay nearly $73 million in damages. With interest, the damages would be $94 million, EchoStar said. This of course makes TiVo’s move towards licensing its technology and service to cable (its recent deal with Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) as an example) and other players stronger, as it moves beyond the box.

The appeals court affirmed earlier district court ruling which also called for $73 million in damages. It did, however, reverse the ruling that EchoStar had violated TiVo’s hardware patents, although the change in ruling did not affect the damages, reports DJN.

Last November the U.S. patent office upheld TiVo’s claims on the time-warp patent, which allows users to pause, fast forward and rewind live TV programs…that ruling set the ground for this appeals win.

EchoStar said it would appeal the damage award, and sought to reassure customers that they had a substitute for the infringing software, reports Reuters. Tivo’s official statement on this new ruling here.