Dish, Echostar Lose TiVo Contempt Appeal; Will Seek Full Court’s Review

TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO) won another court round against Dish and EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS) when two members of a three-judge federal court panel sided with a lower court ruling that the satellite companies are in contempt of a permanent injunction prohibiting infringement on its DVR patents. But the fight, ongoing in various forms since 2004, is far from over. Dish and EchoStar quickly fired back with plans to ask for an en banc review by the full 11-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If a majority of the full court agrees with this latest ruling, it probably won’t grant a review so EchoStar’s next recourse would be the U.S. Supreme Court, which has no obligation to hear the case and has already said no to one petition.

Dish and EchoStar also said they will offer another “design-around” to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; that court said the last effort still infringed. Even so, it’s hard to get away from the idea that Charlie Ergen’s companies are just avoiding the inevitable. Bernstein’s Craig Moffett puts it this way: “What is at stake is nothing less than their ability to continue to offer DVRs. And without DVRs