Patents

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
dvr, patent, uspto

Companies:
echostar, tivo



TiVo's 'Big Win' Over Dish On Patents Looking Less And Less Solid, As Patent Office Rejects Patent Claims

from the oops dept

Early on TiVo had won pretty much of all of its patent battles with EchoStar over its DVR technology, perhaps helped along by a bit of bull buying in Texas. We had noted, however, that the USPTO had expressed concerns over the validity of the patents, and we wondered why the court case would move forward while the patents themselves might be rejected by the Patent Office. But, the case did go forward, and while TiVo initially won at the appeals court level (which made it so happy that it sued others and demanded ridiculous sums from EchoStar), things haven't been looking quite so good lately.

Last month, the appeals court vacated the earlier decision, and agreed to rehear the case. And, now, it turns out that the USPTO has rejected two patent claims that were a key part of this fight. Of course, as TiVo is quick to point out, this isn't the end of the review process, but it certainly raises serious questions about the validity of the patents TiVo is basing its whole strategy on.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2010 @ 4:32am

    Re: Re: A smile on mike's face

    I can sympathize with Tivo though. They innovated when no one else did and then the incumbents created a guide that travels through the cable wire and gets picked up by the box that they sell (in opposed to needing to hook up a separate dialup or other connection, a huge inconvenience to anyone) and used our broken legal system to lock Tivo out of this guide (or make it impractical for them to implement), which is a very important feature (ie: knowing what's on and being able to conveniently record a show without manually choosing time frames to record). To some extent this is the kinda thing that patents are supposed to protect against and the fact that patents only seem to be used to protect incumbents (ie: existing cable companies), and not innovators, makes me more strongly oppose the patent system.

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