back to article EchoStar stumped in Tivo patent prosecution

Time is running short for EchoStar to figure out an acceptable workaround to Tivo's DVR patent. The satellite provider said in a one-sentence court filing Monday that it's "investigating other potential design-around options, but at this stage, does not know whether a future design-around is even possible." If the company can …


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  1. Chad Larson

    It seems obvious

    License the TiVo technology. Then offer an upgrade to a =real= TiVo.

  2. Bill Broadley

    Open an API

    They should just disable the functionality, and allow for end user installed modules. Publish and API for said modules and let the community write whatever modules are in demand.

  3. asdf
    Thumb Down

    F__k the patent created fake landrushes

    Valid patent or not the fact is a bunch of people are going to get screwed because somebody had better lawyers than the other person. This is so lame. I thought patents required you to RAND off your IP (sell to anyone at a fair price) if someone wanted to use it? This should be required or else it is nothing but an unstable landrush that long term will harm society and our technology.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Eh? Prior art, surely?

    "EchoStar originally lost a 2004 patent infringement lawsuit that accused the company of improperly using Tivo's DVR technology that lets users record live television while simultaneously watching another program."

    I was recording live TV while watching another channel nearly a third of a century ago.

    I don't generally watch TV anymore, so maybe I'm missing something ...

  5. Mainer_ayah
    Thumb Up

    Clarification on Tivo v Echostar

    Great article! Just one thing. I think your last paragraph is a bit off. They were given a temporary stay of the court order which stipulated the dvr functionality had to be shut off in 30 days. The stay could last only days, or it could last months depending on which direction the appeals court decides to take.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    Someone's getting the sack for that one. Or depending on how they run the company, something more....permanent.

    On a side note, can't wait to get Tivo* here in NZ at the end of the year. Yup, hooks up to Freeview and their HD broadcasts. Nice.

    * Official stuff - none of this personally imported and hacked freetard nonsense.

  7. MD Rackham


    ...they could just license the patents.

    But I guess that's too obvious.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    seems cruel to me.

    Both cruel on echostar and it's customers.

    why don't they just settle for a license fee?

  9. Paul E


    They could just licence the patent like they should have done in the first place???

  10. Paul Banacks

    And the loser....

    The consumer.

    Thanks Patents once again.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And then...

    they will have 4 million angry customers demanding their money back because the set top bax has been knackered.

  12. jolly

    Someone must have done this before TIVO surely?

    With PC TV cards having been around for a long time there must have been someone out there who did this before TIVO using their PC.

    Either way the US patent system is laughable.

  13. Grumps


    If they are unable to solve the problem without infringing the patent then either the patent is overbroad or obvious. If a problem can only be solved one way then that solution is obvious no matter how complex or convoluted it may be.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does Tivo not care about the consumers?

    Are Tivo happy to screw over 4 million people and reduce the functionality in their boxes by insisting on a retrospective downgrade due to copyright? Yeah, thanks for that guys, very nice.

  15. Mike 61

    I hope TIVO wins

    but only because echostar has screwed over soooo many subscribers with their bait & switch offers and other typical cable company like behavior. It I could put a stick in their eye, I would do it.

    On the gripping hand, I am sure there is plenty of prior art out there that involves watch one and record the other, but it probably comes down to the recording and storage protocols used, that are likely unique to TIVO, and not easily reproduced. They need to get an engineer with absolutely no prior involvement with either product to design the work around. And if the problem is unique to the hardware, I see recalls and customer demands for free replacements in the future.

  16. Poor Peddler

    Technical Service Manager

    To ASDF, I'm sure TiVo has tried to have Dish Network lease the technology that change TV viewing forever. If not how did other cable providers get the technology and the famous logo on thier sets. Wake up a crook is still a crook even when they hide behind a dish a dish a dish. sounds like an echo to me.

  17. Michael Messina
    Thumb Up

    Suck it Dish

    They've had ages to do a licensing agreement with Tivo, like DirecTv. The cost would certainly not be prohibitive, a few bucks per box and/or the right for Tivo to make boxes for Dish. Dish decided to gamble and lost, now pay up.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    License need not be offered.

    Anyone who owns a TUTV box has already been through similar experience. TUTV were forced to issue a firmware update which disabled owners from being able to select "Favourite" channels. In this case TUTV made it quite clear that whilst owners owned the hardware they only licensed the software and that they were fre to make changes. It was covered in the EUL.

    There is no reason for TIVO to grant a licence to any company. I work in the lighting industry and many products get patents to prevent their competitors from making interchangeable parts.

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