A jury in Texas Thursday awarded TiVo just under $74 million in its patent lawsuit against EchoStar Communications.
The jury agreed with TiVo’s claim that EchoStar willfully infringed upon TiVo’s patent in building its own digital video recorder. The award did not address the issue of an injunction against EchoStar, which TiVo sought as part of its original suit in January 2004.
TiVo alleged “willful and deliberate infringement” of its patented Multimedia Time Warping System, which allows viewers to rewind or pause television broadcasts in progress, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The company sought “unspecified monetary damages” and an injunction against EchoStar to prevent it selling its own device.
The jury’s verdict is key to TiVo’s future. Having failed to post a profit in its nine-year history, the company’s future would have been threatened by a ruling in favor of EchoStar, hurting its ability to establish a business around its technology.
The verdict from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas gives TiVo just under $74 million for lost profits and royalties caused by EchoStar’s patent infringement, court documents said.
TiVo declared victory in a statement. “TiVo is particularly gratified that the jury found that EchoStar willfully infringed on our patent and the consequences their actions had on our overall business.”
EchoStar took a longer view. “This is the first step in a very long process and we are confident we will ultimately prevail,” the company said in a statement, saying it would appeal the ruling and continue to question the validity of TiVo’s patent.
-Steven Schwankert, IDG News Service
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