TiVo won an important victory in its four year legal battle against EchoStar, as the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals partially upheld a district court’s determination that digital video recording (DVR) devices marketed by EchoStar infringed software patents held by TiVo. The appeals court ruling affirms an April 2006 jury verdict that awarded TiVo $89.6 million in damages for violations of hardware and software patents that relate to the company’s “time shifting” video recording technology, which allows consumers to pause, rewind, and fastforward live TV programs. In response to that verdict, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an injunction prohibiting the sale of infringing DVRs by EchoStar. Pending appeal, the injunction was stayed by the Federal Circuit, which late last week upheld the jury’s verdict with respect to the software patents but reversed findings that EchoStar had violated related hardware patents held by TiVo. Despite ruling in EchoStar’s favor on the hardware patents, the appeals court decreed that EchoStar’s infringement of the software patents was enough to justify the full damage award and to warrant reinstatement of the injunction. As TiVo praised the decision as one that provides “confirmation of the value” of its product portfolio, an EchoStar spokeswoman claimed the ruling “will have no effect on our current or future customers because EchoStar’s engineers have developed and deployed ‘next generation’ DVR software to our customers’ DVRs.”