Why Should EchoStar Wait For Patent Review When TiVo Doesn't Have To?

from the fairness? dept

In the ongoing battle over patents concerning DVR technology, both EchoStar and TiVo are suing each other, claiming the other company infringes on its patents. As was all over the news recently, TiVo won the first round, convincing a judge to tell EchoStar it needed to turn off its DVRs (a decision since stayed by the appeals court). However, a judge looking at the patent suit in the other direction has now told EchoStar it needs to wait until the Patent Office has reviewed the patent in question. This actually makes a lot of sense, and we all know at least one company that would still have over $600 million it was forced to give away if other judges followed similar rules. However, it seems a bit unfair that TiVo’s case continued to move forward without USPTO review, while EchoStar needs to wait. It only seems fair to treat both cases the same. As it stands now, TiVo is in a much better bargaining position — it’s won its first case, and EchoStar has to wait before its own case will be reviewed. While it makes sense to allow USPTO review, shouldn’t the courts follow the same rules in dealing with these types of cases?

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Comments on “Why Should EchoStar Wait For Patent Review When TiVo Doesn't Have To?”

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Griffon (profile) says:

apples to oranges?

I don’t know for sure but in both cases the decision for or against seemed to have a lot to do with the quality of the evidence and arguments made to the respective judges, much as it should be. It seems a little silly with to say they should be treated the same with out going into the particulars. In Tivo’s case they had strong evidence, though I don’t know it to be true the reverse can be assumed based on how the courts did things, for echo star… With out the details it sounds pretty arbitrary but I doubt that is truly the case.

At the end of the day we are actualy served better by s system that consideres each argument and the sum of precedence rather then trying to allways make a squard fit a circle for sameness, just IMHO

Davis Freeberg (profile) says:

All Is Fair In Love And TiVo

Hey Mike,

I think you got this one wrong. TiVo has already undergone the patent review case and had many of their infringement claims thrown out. I’m not an attorney, but my understanding is that this part of why they didn’t get more in treble damages from the judge. After the review of 61 patents, I believe that two of the eight pertaining to the Echostar case ended up surviving the review. TiVo can still go back and argue for the other six, but the two that survived were related to the media switch and are why Echostar is forced to disable their current PVRs, but are able to build a work around if they don’t include the media switch in their DVR.

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