DISH Takes Next Step with DVRs Tied to TiVo Case

The injunction order impacting DISH Network and its DVR technology went into full force late last week, something that was tied to the patent infringement litigation filed against the company by TiVo.

Throughout the patent litigation proceedings involving the satellite TV company and DVR pioneer, DISH has maintained that all customers can use their DVRs despite the legal setbacks for the company. Software downloads to the systems corrected any infringing technology, the company said.

In a correspondence sent out last week, DISH said it has redesigned its DVR functionality in anticipation of the injunction order, an effort to ensure the boxes would not infringe the TiVo patent in question. DISH said it has downloaded the redesigned software to all DVRs in the field impacted by the case.

Nonetheless, a blog posting this week on stated that older DVR models from the company could be in an uncertain legal limbo. A notice DISH apparently sent to retailers and others was posted on the blog, stating that four models - the 721, 921, 942 and Homezone 1022 - can no longer be installed or activated in the field since their software has not been updated.

Customers with the DVR models that were previously installed and activated can still use their boxes, given that they probably received the required software download. Also, the models are old, so the actual number of infringing DVRs - if there are any infringing boxes out there - would be small. And (this is the important part) the notice applies only to the installation and activation of the older DVRs not yet out in the field.