In the latest development in TiVo’s long-running patent battle against EchoStar, a Texas district court ordered EchoStar to pay TiVo $200 million in contempt sanctions that stem from EchoStar’s alleged failure to devise digital video recorder (DVR) technology workarounds that comply with previous rulings prohibiting the unauthorized use of TiVo “time warp” patents in DVRs sold to DISH Network customers. Issued last Friday, the $200 million award adds to $103 million in damages that were granted to TiVo last June after a Texas jury found that DVR products redesigned by EchoStar to comply with an earlier injunction continued to violate patents held by TiVo. The court’s latest penalty, however, falls far short of the $1 billion award sought by TiVo, which claimed it was entitled to all of EchoStar and DISH’s DVR profits over the five-year period since patent legal claims were first launched against EchoStar. In Friday’s order, U.S. District Judge David Folsom concluded that EchoStar’s latest patent infringements were not willful and that EchoStar had made a good-faith effort to comply with the court’s directives. Folsom also decreed that EchoStar would be required to pay the contempt award only if EchoStar and DISH lose their pending appeal of the district court’s June ruling. While TiVo said it was “pleased” with Folsom’s decision, an EchoStar spokesman proclaimed that the ruling “confirms our belief that we designed around TiVo’s patent in good faith,” as he voiced confidence that “we will ultimately prevail on appeal.”
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Court imposes additional sanctions in TiVo-Echostar case
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