EchoStar gets reprieve during TiVo appeal

EchoStar Communications and its DISH DVR customers got a reprieve last week when a federal appeals court allowed the satellite TV recording service to continue operation during an appeal of a contentious patent case with TiVo.

EchoStar was earlier ordered to stop selling recording devices that competed with TiVo and to stop offering DVR service to DISH customers. The order had come after TiVo won a jury trial against EchoStar in April for patent infringement.

However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stayed the order, saying that EchoStar had made a “substantial case” on appeal. Circuit Judge William C. Bryson wrote in the decision that EchoStar showed that it had a chance to win and would be harmed if forced to shut down its service during the appeal.

The decision was a setback for TiVo, a pioneer in the development of personal video recording. The company had won the trial in Texas, where it claimed that EchoStar had violated its patent in the design of its current recording technology.