Tivo Sues Dish Network on PVRs (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
New Member
Dec 29, 2003
FYI for everyone.

It will be interesting to watch developments.
Hope this doesn't slow continued progress on (fixing problems with) the 921 as well as Comcast's and other independent (not yet announced) future HD-DVR products

WSJ(1/6) TiVo Inc. Lawsuit Alleges EchoStar Violates Patent


Mon Jan 05 20:19:37 2004 EST

By Nick Wingfield and andy Pasztor

TiVo Inc., in a challenge to rivals entering a hot market changing the
television industry, sued EchoStar Communications Corp., alleging that the
satellite-TV provider is violating a TiVo patent on digital-video-recorder

In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Marshall, Texas, TiVo, based in San
Jose, Calif., accused EchoStar of infringing on a TiVo patent covering some
basic functions of digital video recorders, or DVRs. TiVo was an early maker of
DVRs, which let television viewers record movies and programs onto a PC-like
hard disk, rather video tape.

DVRs are considered more versatile than video cassette recorders, or VCRs,
because they allow users to pause live television programs and resume watching
several minutes later, or to watch programs as they're being recorded -- for
example, 10 minutes after a show has begun. TiVo says it has a patent covering
those capabilities and others.

The lawsuit comes at a time when DVRs are beginning to catch on, though
TiVo's early lead in the market seems to be in danger. TiVo has one million
subscribers to a service that functions in tandem with TiVo recorders. But
cable and satellite companies are beginning to develop their own DVRs, offering
similar technology. Analysts believe cable and satellite companies hold the key
to expanding DVRs to a broader audience because of their huge base of

TiVo has had little luck striking major deals with most of those companies.
So far, EchoStar has distributed about one million DVRs to its satellite TV
subscribers. TiVo distributes its product through EchoStar's main competitor,
Hughes Electronics Corp.'s DirecTV.

Digital video recorders "are just about to really take off," says Josh
Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research. "I've talked to all of the top nine
cables operators, and every single one is saying they're planning on deploying
these products."

In a warning, TiVo executives said companies like EchoStar shouldn't make the
mistake of believing they can develop their own digital recorder technologies.
"There has been a perception that DVR technology is free for the taking and any
company can go out and use this technology any way they want," TiVo Chief
Executive Mike Ramsay said. "Clearly that's not the case."

"While today this is focused on EchoStar, we will continue to look in other
areas where people may or may not infringe." Mr. Ramsay said.

A spokesman for EchoStar said the company hadn't seen a copy of the suit and
didn't have any comment.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-05-04 2022ET

20:22 010504

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