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Patents Media Television

TiVo Wins Appeal On Patents For Pause, Ffwd, Rwd 215

Lorien_the_first_one writes "After years of wrangling, TiVo has won its day in court against Dish Network, formerly known as the EchoStar, when the Supreme Court declined to take up Dish Network's appeal, forcing the satellite television company to pay $104 million in damages. According to the article, 'TiVo originally won a patent infringement case in 2004 against Dish, which was then named EchoStar Communications. It charged that Dish illegally copied its technology, which allows people to pause, rewind, and record live television on digital video recorders.' Despite an injunction, Dish continued distributing its set-top boxes in the belief that the work-around they had implemented avoided infringing TiVo's patents. Now the case goes back to the lower court for review to determine if they did indeed steer clear of those patents."
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TiVo Wins Appeal On Patents For Pause, Ffwd, Rwd

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  • Re:Go TiVo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by onecheapgeek ( 964280 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @08:53AM (#25298281) Journal
    And yet when anyone else patents a PAINFULLY OBVIOUS feature they are evil. But because it's TiVo they get a pass? I had thought about getting one. I'm passing now. TiVo = geek-friendly patent troll.
  • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @10:19AM (#25299267)

    Found a link to the device I was using: []

    So it was half the price I remembered.

    As well as being able to use both heads in playback mode you could use them in record/playback, playback/erase and erase/record.

    My system started with both machines with erased disks. It then started recording on machine 1. Once the disk was full it continued recording on machine 2. Once the second disk was full it returned to machine 1.

    Additionally, as recording started on disk2, erasing started on disk1. This cycle uses one head on each machine and can, in theory, continue indefinitely. In order to avoid any dropped frames, I actually started recording on machine 2 a few seconds before machine 1 disk was full so the system could only be run for a finite (but very long) time before needing to stop and erase the disks to start again.

    The other head on each machine was then used for playback.


  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @01:59PM (#25302689) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is how the videodisc instant replay stuff they used back in the 1970s or early 80s didn't completely kill this patent through prior art. It's not like this is the first time a ring buffer of recordable video media has been used to pause a live video signal and play it back (optionally in slow motion, even). The networks have been doing this literally for decades. The only thing novel about this patent is that the ring buffer is stored digitally and compressed on the spinning platters (and thus it is practical for them to keep 30 minutes of ring buffer instead of 30 seconds).

    If they weren't able to challenge it successfully, either their lawyers are inept or the judge is clueless or both. This patent has no more merit than the "on the internet" patents. In fact, it is literally a "do something that has been done for years, but with a computer" patent. How people can get patents on something like that is beyond me. It is a new use of an existing technology---something patents are not supposed to cover. I'm stunned that any competent judge ruled in TiVo's favor, frankly. I'm particularly disappointed that the Supreme Court denied certiorari. This is a pretty clear-cut case of patent abuse, IMHO....

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