One month after being told by a Texas federal district court that it had 30 days to disable digital video recorders (DVRs) that continue to violate patents held by TiVO, Inc., DISH Network won at least a temporary reprieve as the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the lower court’s injunction upon concluding that DISH had demonstrated “it has a substantial case on the merits.” Handed down last Wednesday, the Federal Circuit decision allows more than 4 million DISH customers to continue using their DISH-issued DVRs pending a ruling on DISH’s appeal of the June 2 district court order that also awarded TiVO an additional $103 million in damages. Although DISH contends that DVR technology workarounds developed in response to earlier court pronouncements in the five-yearold case fulfill the requirements of TiVO and the court, TiVO convinced U.S. District Court Judge David Folsom last month that the workarounds in question continue to violate TiVO “time warp” patents and thereby continue to violate the terms of the injunctive order handed down previously by the district court. While granting DISH’s motion for stay, the Federal Circuit also expedited its schedule for the appeal, raising the possibility that a final order will be issued as early as November. As DISH proclaimed that it was “pleased” with the court’s decision, a TiVO spokesman voiced confidence of a favorable outcome for his company, noting: “the Court of Appeals stayed the district court's order the previous time this case was heard on appeal and ultimately affirmed the judgment against [DISH].”
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DISH wins stay of TiVO patent injunction
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Senior Patent Counsel
Royal DSM NV