TiVo said Thursday it won a victory in a regulatory ruling on its digital video recording patents, halting a key challenge by EchoStar Communications Corp. to TiVo’s intellectual property claims.
The decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office validates a set of TiVo’s “time warp” patents covering technology that lets TiVo’s boxes record, pause and rewind live television. The final ruling trumps a preliminary decision issued in August by the office that initially affirmed the patents covering TiVo’s software, but rejected the patents on TiVo’s hardware.
TiVo’s shares soared nearly 25 percent, up $1.48 to $7.46. EchoStar, which operates the Dish Network, slipped 14 cents to $42.70.
“It’s an important win for TiVo,” said Josh Martin, a Yankee Group analyst. “It strengthens their patent portfolio.”
TiVo, in a statement, said it was “extremely pleased.” EchoStar requested the regulatory review in 2005 after TiVo filed a lawsuit in 2004 claiming that the cable company’s digital video recorders infringed on TiVo’s patents.
While the ruling eliminated one avenue for EchoStar to challenge TiVo, it has little bearing on the lawsuit. TiVo won the suit in April 2006 when a federal district court jury ordered the satellite dish provider to pay $89 million in licensing fees.
EchoStar appealed the ruling in circuit court, and the case is awaiting a ruling by a three-judge panel.