One TiVo claim stymied, another starts

Chris Forrester

The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has denied TiVo any further action on its patent claim with Echostar/Dish. Specifically, the PTO has dismissed TiVo’s request to cease a re-examination of its ’Time Warp’ PVR patents.

What this means is that the long-running dispute between TiVo and EchoStar/Dish will inevitably continue. Indeed, on Aug 26 TiVo fired off another salvo of writs, this time against telco giants AT&T and Verizon.

"We are pleased the PTO dismissed Tivo's petition to vacate EchoStar's re-examination of Tivo's patent,” said an EchoStar statement. “In the decision, the Director of the Central Re-examination Unit of the PTO specifically found that 'the references of record may be used to find that a substantial new question of patentability is present, [and] the decision of the [PTO] examiner has not been shown to be in error' in granting EchoStar's re-examination petition. The PTO's decision clears the way for the re-examination to continue, which we believe will result in a Final Office Action invalidating the software claims of Tivo's patent.”

The new legal actions against AT&T and Verizon, filed in TiVo’s favourite Federal Court in Texas, reflect the previous actions mounted by TiVo, and see the PVR/DVR company alleging that the telephone companies have violated TiVo’s patents.