Federal Circuit Upholds Damages Award Against Echostar
By Andrew Ungberg — Edited by Wen Bu
TiVo, Inc. v. EchoStar Commc’n Corp.
Federal Circuit, January 31, 2008, No. 2006-1574
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld in part and reversed in part an Eastern District of Texas jury verdict finding that EchoStar’s DVR machines infringed hardware and software claims of TiVo’s patent.
Writing for a unanimous panel, Judge Bryson found that EchoStar’s devices infringed TiVo’s software claims, but not the hardware claims. The court noted that the trial jury did not award separate damages for each kind of infringement and found the software infringement sufficient to support the entire damages award. Finally, the stay of the trial court’s permanent injunction against EchoStar that the Federal Circuit issued pending appeal will dissolve once the judgment becomes final.
Dennis Crouch of Patently-O adds commentary, including EchoStar’s reaction to the verdict.
Christopher S. Rugaber of the Associated Press examines the business consequences for TiVo.
Bloomberg provides further reporting on the decision.
The district court had awarded TiVo $73 million in damages and imposed a permanent injunction against future infringement. The injunction was stayed pending the appeal, but the Federal Circuit dissolved the stay. The Federal Circuit remanded to the Eastern District of Texas to determine if any additional damages are appropriate for injury TiVo might have sustained while the stay was in effect.
Finally, EchoStar issued a press release claiming that the Federal Circuit’s ruling will have no effect on current or future customers, as its DVRs now use non-infringing “next-generation” software, but that the company will appeal the damages verdict.
Update (October 8th, 2008):
Supreme Court Denies EchoStar’s Appeal; TiVO Awarded $104 Million in Damages