EchoStar-TiVo case to appeals court

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DALLAS -- A patent dispute between EchoStar Communications Corp., the owner of the Dish satellite-TV network, and TiVo Inc., is headed for the federal appeals court in Washington after a judge rejected EchoStar's bid for a new trial.

Judge David Folsom said Monday that EchoStar failed to raise new issues in its appeal for another trial.

In April, a jury found that EchoStar made and sold digital video recorders that infringed on Tivo's patented technology for pausing live television and recording one show while watching another. Folsom, who presided over that trial, ordered EchoStar to pay $89.6 million in damages -- more than the $74 million the jury had awarded.

The case now goes to the federal appeals court in Washington, which temporarily blocked Folsom's order that EchoStar disable about 4 million of its set-top boxes. Dish is the nation's second-largest satellite-TV provider, behind DirecTV.

EchoStar didn't expect Folsom to reverse his earlier rulings against a new trial, said Kathie Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the Englewood, Colo.-based company.

"Now that the last phase of the trial is complete our appeal can proceed," she said. "We look forward to ultimate vindication through that process."

Morgan Chu, an attorney for Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo, said the company was pleased with Folsom's ruling to reject a new trial.

"TiVo believes it will prevail on appeal," Chu said.

TiVo shares rose 2 cents to close at $6.28 Tuesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market, while EchoStar shares gained 23 cents to finish at $35.69, also on the Nasdaq.
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