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TiVo and the satellite TV service Dish Network (and its parent company, EchoStar) have been embroiled in a series of legal actions over TiVo’s claims of patent infringement. Last year, TiVo won a $200 million judgment against Dish, but a federal appeals court recently decided that it will review that decision and the claim that the presiding judge should have given Dish a new trial to determine whether or not the company was still infringing on TiVo’s intellectual property.

Now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has rejected two claims in TiVo’s patents. According to a report on NewTeeVee, TiVo believes that the judgment is in error, and will appeal the recent PTO decision. Earlier in the process, the PTO ruled against some of TiVo’s patent claims, only to have them ultimately upheld as valid. For its part, Dish claims that the recent PTO decision was the right one, citing prior art that should invalidate the patent claims.

As for the ultimate winner in this case, the only ones we can be sure of are the lawyers. Whether or not this dispute will end up having an impact on Dish subscribers remains to be seen.

Posted by Alfred Poor, June 9, 2010 6:00 AM

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About Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is a well-known display industry expert, who writes the daily HDTV Almanac. He wrote for PC Magazine for more than 20 years, and now is focusing on the home entertainment and home networking markets.