U.S. Patent Office Backs TiVo in Dish/EchoStar Fight

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reaffirmed TiVo’s (s TIVO) Time Warp Patent, striking a blow against Dish Network (s DISH) and EchoStar (s SATS) today. The patent office’s ruling, which TiVo says is final and not appealable, enforced the Time Warp patent at the center of a legal fight between the DVR maker and the satellite TV provider.

The patent ruling is a parallel proceeding to TiVo’s long-running patent infringement lawsuit against Dish and EchoStar, which dates back to 2004. In that case, TiVo had been awarded $200 million in damages last September, but the case was reopened by a federal appeals court in order to decide whether a prior judge should have given Dish another trial to determine if it was still infringing on TiVo’s patent. Dish and EchoStar had tried to use the patent office review as one way to discredit TiVo’s patent during the legal wrangling.

In a statement, TiVo writes:

“We are pleased that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has reaffirmed the validity of all claims of the Time Warp Patent at issue in the second reexamination of the patent at the request of EchoStar. This decision by the PTO is final and not appealable by EchoStar. Today’s decision further validates our IP and brings us closer to ending EchoStar’s ongoing infringement. Moreover, we remain confident that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will uphold and enforce an injunction against EchoStar’s ongoing willful infringement of the Time Warp Patent.”

While the patent ruling is good news for TiVo, its fight isn’t quite over yet. A U.S. appeals court will be hearing arguments in its patent infringement suit on Nov. 9 to determine if Dish and Echostar still violate TiVo’s Time Warp Patent.

Picture courtesy of Flickr user rafaelmarquez.

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