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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 14, 2010

Dish Network Get Full Panel Review in Patent Infringement Case

By Alice Straight, TMCnet Web Editor

Every once in a while the Hail Mary works.

And that's the case Friday for Dish Network Corp. when it was announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington granted the satellite company's request for an en banc review.

Dish Network had been sued by TiVo (News - Alert), Inc. over patent infringement in 2004 over technology that stored and retrieved video on DVRs.

Dish lost the case on appeal, paid TiVo $104.6 million in damages and interest and was barred from using the technology. Dish redesigned software that it said did not infringe on TiVo's patent. But a U.S. District judge disagreed and ordered Dish to pay TiVo additional damages - this time at $103 million plus interest, along with about $200 million in contempt sanctions.

Dish appealed the contempt sanctions but lost March 4 - the latest ruling vacates that decision and puts the case before the Appeals court for a review by the full panel.

Ultimately Dish may not prevail, but it has forestalled the possibility of Dish Network having to disable  millions of DVRs on its network.

Shares of DVR pioneer TiVo fell by $6.52, or 37.5 percent, to $10.87 in midday trading. Dish rose by $1.22, or 5.6 percent, to $23.18. 

Alice Straight is a TMCnet editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page .

Edited by Alice Straight