Ruling in TiVo, EchoStar case could be delayed

A screen shows Internet services available through an broadband-connected TiVo digital video recorder at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2006. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal judge in Texas on Thursday delayed ruling until as late as November on whether EchoStar Corp owes TiVo Inc more damages for infringing on its “Time Warp” digital video recorder, or DVR, technology.

Investors, who expected the ruling on Thursday, sent TiVo’s shares down 16.5 percent, or $1.44, to $7.31.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom said he would try to rule by October 1 but failing that, would have to delay a finding until after the end of that month, according to attorneys who attended the hearing.

The damages stem from a 2006 jury finding that EchoStar illegally used the TiVo-invented feature, which allows users to scan through a television program while it is recording.

TiVo lawyers argued in U.S. district court in Marshall, Texas that it is owed $220 million in royalties and lost profits for the 18 months that the verdict was stayed to allow EchoStar to appeal. EchoStar has admitted to owing $16 million in additional damages.

An appeals court ordered the trial judge to determine whether and what amount of additional damages are owed TiVo.

TiVo also argued on Thursday for sanctions against EchoStar for allegedly failing to turn off the DVRs, as required in the injunction. EchoStar, instead, continued collecting subscription fees for the infringing DVRs and replaced the infringing software with a “work-around” that does not use TiVo’s patented technology, TiVo lawyers said.

Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Gary Hill