Just when you thought that the problems for Dish Network were about to be over, Dish ends up paying $104 million to TiVo for violating their DVR patent. But does the story end there? Maybe not. According to an article over at ARS Technica the satellite company may still be in hot water. Seems that Dish has a work around they state gets by TiVo’s patent. According to the article it states that:
That brings us to today’s announcement. DISH had appealed the original TiVo case all the way up to the Supreme Court, which denied the company’s petition for certiorari (a petition to review the decision of the lower courts). As a result, DISH will pay out $104 million to TiVo — the original amount that the jury awarded in 2006, plus interest. “The money is in an escrow account and will be released to TiVo in the next few days,” the company said in a statement issued today.
This decision does not affect the workaround that DISH has developed for its DVRs, though. That case is still ongoing, and a decision has yet to be made on whether the changes are enough to be noninfringing on TiVo’s patents. “We believe that the design-around does not infringe Tivo’s patent and that Tivo’s pending motion for contempt should be denied,” DISH said. “We look forward to that ruling in the near future.” The company must be pretty confident in its workaround, because if that one doesn’t pass the noninfringement test, then it may find itself being forced into a licensing agreement with TiVo in order to keep its own DVRs functioning.
It was just recently that we learned that Dish has been losing subscribers over the past year as well. It seems that Direct is making inroads into the satellite marketm stealing customers away. If Dish can’t prove its new software doesn’t infringe upon TiVo’s patent, Dish will be forced to license TiVo and pass this on to its subscribers. What do you think?