DISH gets another day in court over TiVo patent lawsuit

In some bad news for TiVo, a federal appeals court granted the DISH Network, the satellite TV provider, a full-court review of a ruling it lost to TiVo in a patent dispute over TV recording devices.

The earlier ruling had threatened to force DISH to disable millions of its customers’ digital video recorders; however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington gave DISH a chance for a better outcome in the litigation, which it has consistently lost to TiVo.

DISH had asked for a full-court review of the case and had resisted paying TiVo damages that have totalled about $400 million. Charles W. Ergen, DISH’s chief executive, gambled that the company would prevail in a lawsuit that has stretched on for six years. Last week, Ergen told analysts in a conference call that he was prepared to remotely disable his customers’ DVRs.

TiVo said in a statement that it remained confident of prevailing in the case but was “disappointed that we do not yet have finality in this case despite years of litigation.”

The case goes back to 2004, when TiVo, a pioneer in DVRs, sued DISH for patent infringement over a technology that stored and retrieved video on DVRs that DISH leased to its customers. DISH lost the case, paid TiVo $104.6 million in damages and interest and was barred from using the technology.