One big do-over: Appeals court vacates its TiVo decision against EchoStar

It has been said that a win is a win. That notion was effectively proven false today, as the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals granted EchoStar's and former sister company Dish Network's motion to throw out its own decision last March.

In that decision, a three-judge panel voted 2-1 to rule that a fix to EchoStar software that TiVo claimed infringed upon its patents, was not so broad that it mandated a new and separate trial of TiVo's complaint. Now, the Federal Circuit will meet en banc, with as many as 12 judges seated instead of 3, to rehear EchoStar's argument.

The Court at large could very well rule similarly to the panel, in which case, once again, EchoStar and Dish could find themselves owing as much as $300 million in damages, only with more accrued interest. However, if the judges find in favor of EchoStar, they could send the case back one more space -- perhaps back to a lower court. There, the whole issue of whether EchoStar transgressed against TiVo could be tried all over again.

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