Patent Appeal: TiVo Wins Patent Infringement Appeal Award Of $73 Million Judgment Against EchoStar Over Digital Video Recorder “DVR” Patent

In April of 2006, an Eastern District of Texas jury awarded TiVo $73.9 Million in damages for EchoStar’s infringement of several claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,233,389. The ‘389 patent covers digital video recorder (“DVR”) technology that covers time shifting both for previously recorded programs and for programs that are currently being recorded. You may recall TiVo’s commercials proclaiming that “you can pause live TV.” The jury found that EchoStar, operator of the Dish Network, infringed on both the hardware claims and the software claims. The district court issued a permanent injunction against EchoStar and entered the judgment. EchoStar appealed.

tivo.jpg On an emergency motion by EchoStar, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) stayed the permanent injunction pending the outcome of the appeal. On January 31, 2008, although the CAFC agreed with EchoStar that it did not infringe on the hardware claims, the CAFC upheld the infringement of the software claims. The CAFC explained that because the jury had not segregated the damages award along the hardware and software claims, the $73.9 Million award still stood. In fact, the CAFC instructed the lower court to increase the monetary award based on EchoStar’s continuing infringement while the lower court’s judgment was stayed. Click To Read The CAFC Opinion.