Guess That Bull In Texas Was A Good Investment: EchoStar Agrees To Pay TiVo To Settle Patent Case
from the money-wasted dept
TiVo and EchoStar have been in a ridiculously long patent dispute over DVR patents that began years ago. TiVo won nearly all of the early rounds, but the tide turned a bit last year, though it looked like TiVo was going to get something out of this. Of course, all of this was happening while the Patent Office itself was expressing doubt about the patents in question.
The case is now over, with EchoStar agreeing to pay TiVo $500 million (significantly more than the initial jury award). Of course, some will use this to suggest EchoStar should have just paid up early on, and from a financial perspective, they’re probably correct. But, really, this once again shows the ridiculousness of the patent system. Many millions of dollars were wasted on this lawsuit, and then a final massive transfer payment is made. All of that money could have gone towards actually innovating and building better products. What a waste.
Of course, this also brings to a close one of the more bizarre side notes to this story. Back when the district court case was being tried in East Texas, TiVo paid $10,000 to buy an award-winning bull in Marshall, Texas… which it renamed TiVo. Pretty much everyone suggests this was a really cynical ploy to influence the jury. I’m curious what ever happened to the bull?