EchoStar Wins Reprieve in TiVo Suit

EchoStar scored a victory in court Tuesday, as a federal appeals court stayed the injunction that would have prevented it from selling digital video recorders to its customers. A jury had found the company guilty of infringing on TiVo's patents in April, and awarded TiVo $73 million.

The court had issued a permanent injunction that would have prevented EchoStar from manufacturing or selling digital video recorders. However, in mid-August the company won a temporary stay of the injunction pending a decision on whether the stay should be permanent.

At issue is the so-called "time warp" patent, which deals with systems and methods for the simultaneous storage and playback of programs, supporting advanced capabilities such as pausing live television, fast-forwarding, rewinding, instant replays, and slow motion, TiVo said.

Tuesday's decision made the stay permanent for the duration of the appeals process, meaning the company could continue to build and market its DVRs. In a statement announcing the court's move, TiVo downplayed its significance.

"We are confident that the jury's decision in TiVo's favor will be upheld once the Federal Circuit has the opportunity to review the entire record in this case," TiVo said. "It is important to note that most injunctions in patent cases are stayed pending appeal, and the appeal itself will be decided on a totally different standard of review."

Obviously, EchoStar saw the decision in a different light, saying the court found that the company had a substantial case. "This action by the Federal Court reinforces our belief that the Texas court made significant errors during the trial process and we look forward to complete vindication of our position," it said in a statement.

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