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Old 03-30-2006, 08:43 AM   #1
Dajad
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Coverage of TiVo/Echostar Trial

I have included links to all the major TiVo-Echostar trial events here:

http://daledietrich.com/imedia/2006/...ending-appeal/

in my newly relaunched iMedia Law Blog .

...Dale

Last edited by Dajad : 10-26-2006 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
I have many TiVo/Echostar trial stories linked into my iMedia law page here:

http://www.daledietrich.com/imedia/Mar06.htm#29Mar06a

I will, of course, be following this as closely as one can from a distance and will add the text of the final decision into my site as soon as its available. That is, if it is available. If this is purely a jury trial there may not be a written decision. Can anyone out there shed light on this further.

...Dale
The instructions the judge gives the jury will be very interesting to read.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thank you, Dale.

Very handy!



btw, have you seen this?
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...&&#post3904731

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Old 03-30-2006, 09:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HDTiVo
The instructions the judge gives the jury will be very interesting to read.
If anyone finds them online, please post them here, or pm me. I would like to add them to my site as well. Also, if anyone has the pleadings in this case, I'll post'm too.

...Dale
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:18 AM   #5
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Details of Day 1:

http://daledietrich.com/imedia/2006/...al-wed-mar-29/
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Last edited by Dajad : 10-27-2006 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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Dale, it would be interesting to hear your personal comments on how this trial is going based on your experience as an attorney. My layman feeling is that optimism by investment firms is a classic "pump and dump" and repeating statements implying that Marshal's residents are stupid and go with emotions do not help to change that feeling. But I have zero experience in court, so my opinion is biased by my engineering background. I would like to know what your opinion is. Besides being smart you are also practicing law.
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:07 AM   #7
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Very good daily source of courtroom action by local Marshall TX newspaper

http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com...31MARtivo.html

Electrical engineer called as expert witness by TiVo

|By SANDRA CASON, News Messenger|

Friday, March 31, 2006

A former Texas professor testified Thursday in federal district court that EchoStar infringed on television technology patented by TiVo.

Jerry Gibson was called as an expert witness by TiVo in a case that could impact the cost of television set-top boxes in the future.

Gibson took the stand on the second afternoon of the trial being heard by a five-man, five-woman local jury in U. S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas in which EchoStar attorneys said they expect TiVo to seek at least $100 million in damages.

Testimony continues 9 a.m. today in the Sam B. Hall Jr. Federal Courthouse.

Gibson took the stand after TiVo co-inventor Jim Barton completed his testimony. The first witness called by plaintiffs' attorneys was co-founder of the company, Michael Ramsay.

Gibson, a professor of electrical engineering in Santa Barbara, Calif., said he evaluated six set-top boxes manufactured by EchoStar with an eye to discover similarities between them and the "Barton time warp patent."

Responding to questions from Andrei Iancu (pronounced Yankoo), Gibson said he examined a number of EchoStar boxes and found they are similar to 11 claims of their equipment's capability made by TiVo inventors in their patent.

Iancu is a member of the Los Angeles, Calif., law firm Irell & Manella.

Gibson said he prepared "tutorials" for lawyers trying the case and also assisted in preparation of a series of animated slides shown to the jury during his testimony.

These explained how a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) works, and to show how the system is able to re-play live television, Gibson used an on-screen presentation of a touchdown pass made by the Dallas Cowboys in a win over Philadelphia this past season.

"I'm a Cowboys fan," the transplanted Texas resident said. In listing his qualifications to testify regarding television patent infringement, Gibson said he completed an undergraduate degree in engineering at University of Texas at Austin and received a master's degree and doctorate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

In addition, Gibson said he taught at Texas A & M University from 1976 to 1997 and was chairman of the electrical engineering department at SMU.

Gibson said he has done research in multi-media compressions – a system known as Mpeg, (motion picture experts group).

The media switch Barton claims he invented is the technology required to make a DVR "viable," Gibson said. The reason is that TiVo's "media switch off-loads the Central Processing Unit (CPU) so it won't have to handle all that data," a move which lowers the cost of the set-top box.

Before Gibson began his testimony, presiding Judge David Folsom told jurors he had ruled "copying is not an issue in this case." Noting the ruling would later be submitted in writing, Folsom also said the jury could make a finding of patent infringement even if EchoStar did not copy the TiVo box.

Responding to questions from TiVo attorney Morgan Chu, Barton indicated just that, however, and his testimony was interrupted by objections from EchoStar attorney Rachel Krevans, a partner in the San Francisco, Calif., firm of Morrison Foerster.

Barton began his testimony Thursday morning by holding up an "official copy" of the patent for his "multi-media time warping system."

The announcement that it had been granted by the U. S. Patent Office generated "a great deal of excitement among our investors," he said. "Our stock doubled in price the next day.

"We had hoped we'd be wildly successful, but a number of things conspired to delay" that, he added. He referred to the "nuclear winter in Silicon Valley" during which "money dried up.

"In Silicon Valley, people are not paid very well at all," Barton said. "The pay-off comes when what you invent goes public and stock options improve."

When he left Bell Laboratories after beginning his career there as an entry-level engineer, Barton said he and Ramsay in August of 1997 formed the company today known as TiVo.

Very early on, he testified, he took "a prototype" of his invention to EchoStar in the hopes of negotiating a business deal. The company's chief executive officer asked Barton to leave the box with them and promised to return it the next day.

"Rather naively, perhaps, we left it," Barton said. "I don't ever remember seeing that prototype again."

On a second meeting, requested by EchoStar engineers, Barton said "we actually opened up our boxes and show them how they worked. We had a rather animated discussion. We were engineers and we wanted to show off our work."

At the time of the first session, Barton said the TiVo system had not yet been patented, a situation that had changed by the second meeting.

Barton said the purpose of the meetings with EchoStar was "in support of the fact that we had what it took to be a viable partner in delivering a product to their customers."

While he said he never threatened the company with a lawsuit, "we mentioned we were very vigorously pursuing patents."

Of court action, Barton added: "I've always been disappointed we didn't move sooner" against those thought to be "stealing our technology."

Over objections of defense lawyers, Barton showed the jury the main circuit board of the media switch, which he claims to have invented. Holding it up, he pointed out "the smiley TiVo face.

"The overarching principle (of the TiVo box) is that the costs were lower because it needed less memory. The design was cheaper and we could actually sell it to real people out there in the market."

Barton said his invention can perform "trick plays," like fast-forwarding and freeze-framing. "Trick plays is a generic term we use to describe anything other than normal TV watching," he explained.

"It's all about you sitting in front of the TV and getting all the enjoyment you can," Barton added.

In opening statements Wednesday, EchoStar attorney Harold J. McElhinny said TiVo planned to ask for "at least $100 million" in damages.

In addition to what it might receive for patent infringement, if the jury finds for TiVo, it could sue cable companies that offer other set-top boxes, or at least force them to pay licensing fees, according to The Associated Press.

EchoStar, which operates Dish Satellite Network, earned $1.5 billion on sales of $8.4 billion last year, while TiVo has never shown a profit. Its 2005 sales were $172 million, AP said.

EchoStar has filed a countersuit, scheduled for trial next year in Texarkana's federal court.

Contact staff writer Sandra Cason via e-mail at: scason@coxnews.com; or by phone at (903) 927-5969.
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:39 AM   #8
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These explained how a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) works, and to show how the system is able to re-play live television, Gibson used an on-screen presentation of a touchdown pass made by the Dallas Cowboys in a win over Philadelphia this past season.
Playing to the jury just a little bit?
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:01 AM   #9
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Thanks for the new link mtchamp, I'll add that one to the site as well.

Samo, I'm a corporate/commercial/tech lawyer. My job is to keep people out of court in the first place. Other than as a law student 12 years ago, I've never set foot in a court. But, more importantly, the concept of a jury trial for a patent case is doubly foriegn to me. We don't have jury trials for patent cases in Canada (at least not that I'm aware of).

What will really likely matter in the long term is the appeals process. The looser will almost certainly appeal. The jury will not be part of the appeals process (unless an appeal remands the case back for another trial). What judges say on technical and legal matters is usually much more interesting from a legal/practical standpoint than jurors.

And, of course, if there is anything to Echostar's countersuit (to be tried next year) we could end up with cross-licensing as part of any final settlement.

We'll see.

...Dale

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Old 03-31-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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How do you guys feel about this? As a principle, I'm opposed to our screwy patent system where you can patent anything and everything, and any product runs into other companies patents. I hate it, and think it should change.

As long as it's like this though, I guess I'd like to see Tivo do well in this suit. It would be about time a small company got to use patents against a larger company-epecially a small company that's actually USING those patents and was clearly a huge innovator in the space.
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:23 PM   #11
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Puppy, there is a serious review of the patent system underway right now to deal with the problem of patent trolls. Personally, I believe the patent system could deal with some reform in this regard.

Here's my latest summary of Friday's proceedings:

http://daledietrich.com/imedia/2006/...al-fri-mar-31/

Professor Gibson continued his testimony. He compared six EchoStar PVRs and believed they all contained infringing "trick play" functionality covered by TiVo's patent, including replaying live broadcasts in slow motion, recording of the current live programming, fast-forwarding, freeze-framing, pausing and re-starting live broadcasts. After cross, EchoStar's counsel, Rachel Evans asked the judge to strike Gibson's testimony arguing that he is not an expert computer programmer/researcher as is Echostar's upcoming expert witness. Gibson countered that he has written software since he was 18 and reviewed student software as a professor. The judge refused to strike his testimony ruling that Gibson was indeed an expert. There will be no proceedings on Monday. The trial continues on Tuesday.
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:39 PM   #12
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Whaaaat? Why would it take an expert to see if a product can pause live TV, etc.?
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:13 PM   #13
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I agree that this is simpy stupid. The fact that Tivo was actually able to patent these concepts shows how innane our laws are.
I'm surprised the Thomas Edison estate has not sued Tivo - since they obviously stole the concept of skipping through material from Edison's phonograph.
Regardless of how this case turns out, I think Tivo has lost a PR war in the courts of public opinion. Stifling technology for the sake of a few bucks makes folks mad.
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:21 PM   #14
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For something to be patentable it has to be new or novel. Looking through the lens of 2006 pausing live TV isn't novel.

But when I first saw it done on my TiVo in 1999, you can bet I thought that trick-play was new and novel and CERTAINLY worthy of patent protection.

...Dale
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:00 PM   #15
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On your page, you summarize by saying in part that the judge has ruled that the jury can find E* in violation, even if they did not directly copy the technology. On the other hand, he also said that copying is not an issue to be decided in the case. One sounds good for tivo, the other sounds not so good.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
For something to be patentable it has to be new or novel. Looking through the lens of 2006 pausing live TV isn't novel.

But when I first saw it done on my TiVo in 1999, you can bet I thought that trick-play was new and novel and CERTAINLY worthy of patent protection.

...Dale
absolutely. Today it does not seem like a big deal but 7 years ago it sure was.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:11 PM   #17
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The guts of the patent aren't so much about pausing television per se.. but the media switch that Barton created that allowed them to handle the massive streams of data with low cost hardware... which in turn, allowed you to pause live TV etc.

THAT was -- more than anything else -- what was novel and is a major element of the patent that is being defended with this suit.

J
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajad
For something to be patentable it has to be new or novel. Looking through the lens of 2006 pausing live TV isn't novel.

But when I first saw it done on my TiVo in 1999, you can bet I thought that trick-play was new and novel and CERTAINLY worthy of patent protection.

...Dale
So where does this leave them...?
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:19 PM   #19
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HD:

Those are standard warnings posted in their SEC documents BEFORE they received their final patent approval two years later. Tho at the time that document was written - it was far from certain that TIVO's patent would be approved ... therefore they need the cautionary boilerplate language in SEC filings to cover their butt.

So it leaves them exactly where they are.

And again - more than anything - this case hinges on the media "switch" functionality that Barton created ... than just 'pausing live TV' per se.
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ZikZak
On your page, you summarize by saying in part that the judge has ruled that the jury can find E* in violation, even if they did not directly copy the technology. On the other hand, he also said that copying is not an issue to be decided in the case. One sounds good for tivo, the other sounds not so good.
Regrettably we are relying on a third party reporter for these stories. But, those two points made by the judge lead to the conclusion.

Unlike COPYright, where infringement can be found merely on copying (hence the word "COPYright"), under patent law the infringer is not liable solely for copying a technology. Rather, they can be found to infringe however they manifest the patented idea. So, for example, a person can be found to infringe another's patent without ever having copied the method of exploiting the patent exactly. So long as their product embodies that which is covered by the patent, they can be found liable - even if the embodyment (in this case Echostar's PVR's innerworkigns) is substantially or totally different than another legitimate emboyment (in this case TiVo's PVR's inner workings).

So as I understand this statement by the judge, the jurors must look beyond whether or not Echostar merely copied TiVo's embodyment of the patent, but rather they must look to see if Echostar infringed the patent's covered claims in Echostar's product embodyment even though it may be different than TiVo's.

I hope this helps.

...Dale
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #21
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Thanks! that clears up my confusion.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:16 PM   #22
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A little more color to the events of the first week...


Quote:
Jury asked to decide cause of TiVo's financial trouble

EchoStar lawyers tried to convince the jury that TiVo was a poorly run company that couldn't compete with rivals and was trying to blame its financial difficulty on somebody else.

They produced internal TiVo documents that appeared to credit EchoStar for developing its own technology. In one e-mail, a TiVo executive wrote, "EchoStar owns its own technology," and in another, a TiVo employee said EchoStar had "a homegrown solution."

EchoStar's San Francisco attorneys went hard after TiVo witnesses. Lead attorney Harold McElhinny opened his cross-examination of the first witness, TiVo co-founder Michael Ramsay, by going over in detail the company's losses.

When Ramsay said the money represented investment by the company, McElhinny asked in a sarcastic tone if TiVo had a deliberate strategy of losing money. McElhinny's partner, Rachel Krevans, tried similarly to rattle Barton.

The 10 jurors showed little reaction during the exchanges. But lawyers who have tried cases before juries in Marshall - which has become a hotbed of patent litigation because the courts move quickly - say tough tactics can backfire.

"Jurors here expect courtesy. They don't like in-your-face rudeness," said Michael C. Smith, a Marshall attorney. "I was told never treat a witness with anything other than respect unless it's clear they don't deserve respect."

Smith, who was not in the courtroom, said local jurors will overlook a lawyer's manners if they believe the facts support his client. He said the key for lawyers is to keep their case simple.

"This is a rural area. People here are not any less intelligent, but their level of education is lower than in urban areas," Smith said. "If you make the story too complex, you run a serious risk of alienating a jury."

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Old 04-03-2006, 03:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by lajohn27
HD:

Those are standard warnings posted in their SEC documents BEFORE they received their final patent approval two years later. Tho at the time that document was written - it was far from certain that TIVO's patent would be approved ... therefore they need the cautionary boilerplate language in SEC filings to cover their butt.

So it leaves them exactly where they are.

And again - more than anything - this case hinges on the media "switch" functionality that Barton created ... than just 'pausing live TV' per se.
Mentioning seven pre-existing patents is standard? I don't think so.

It appears TiVo was mentioning prior patents in several areas (not specific) as well as other independently developed DVRs already in existence.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:40 PM   #24
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Full disclosure of what you know to be true is standard yes. Dale is involved in patent & securities law and I'm sure he could chime in.

In my own personal experience when the company I was involved in was applying for a patent... we disclosed what we knew about similar patents in our prospectus for investors. We were not yet a public company, but we followed SEC rules as if we were. Our lawyers advised us to disclose what we knew and could document.

SEC documents traditionally follow boilerplate language that is negative from the outset. This would be no different.

And yes, they would mention any "prior art" in the area of DVRs that *might* prevent their patent application from being seen as novel or unique. That was exactly what we did in our materials for prospective investors.

In fact, in their patent application they might even go so far as to address why and how their implemention differs in key and important ways from those other seven patents.

John
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lajohn27
So it leaves them exactly where they are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lajohn27
Full disclosure of what you know to be true is standard yes. Dale is involved in patent & securities law and I'm sure he could chime in.

In my own personal experience when the company I was involved in was applying for a patent... we disclosed what we knew about similar patents in our prospectus for investors. We were not yet a public company, but we followed SEC rules as if we were. Our lawyers advised us to disclose what we knew and could document.

SEC documents traditionally follow boilerplate language that is negative from the outset. This would be no different.

And yes, they would mention any "prior art" in the area of DVRs that *might* prevent their patent application from being seen as novel or unique. That was exactly what we did in our materials for prospective investors.

In fact, in their patent application they might even go so far as to address why and how their implemention differs in key and important ways from those other seven patents.

John
Your first answer makes it sound like the facts disclosed in 1999 have no bearing or effect on the current situation. And obviously (to me at least) the act of disclosing is "standard." That's irrelevant. The specifics of the disclosure are certainly not "standard." They are unique to the circumstance, and in this situation raise some questions about TiVo's claims in the litigation, which someone with some knowledge of the subject might shed worthwhile light upon.

The greater issue goes beyond the current litigation. TiVo is a defendant in at least two other patent litigations. Regardless of the outcome of this one, those others will also come to bear.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:35 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Sirshagg
absolutely. (re: Pausing LiveTV) Today it does not seem like a big deal but 7 years ago it sure was.
Broadcasters were able to pause or delay radio (for censoring purposes). So, the technology was there to pause or delay broadcasting. Who's to say that the person who invented Howard Stern's dump button should be entitled to all royalties?
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:39 PM   #27
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Broadcasters were able to pause or delay radio (for censoring purposes). So, the technology was there to pause or delay broadcasting. Who's to say that the person who invented Howard Stern's dump button should be entitled to all royalties?
Were talking about products for consumers not for multi-m/billion dollar companies.
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Old 04-03-2006, 04:47 PM   #28
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Were talking about products for consumers not for multi-m/billion dollar companies.
What does that have to do with intellectual property? or how that property is used? The box still does the same thing, no matter if it is in the home or in a studio.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:50 PM   #29
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Again.. it's not the process of pausing TV that was patented.. It was the MEANS of doing so.. in this case for a fraction of a percentage of the cost of the broadcasting systems that had been available professionally for years prior.

I work in broadcasting and I'm very familiar with those systems. They don't work anything like a TIVO at all. The techniques used to create a delay up till that point were dramatically different than the techniques that TIVO pioneered to delay viewing television and 'trick play' with recently-live TV.

And those other seven patents that TIVO disclosed are worth looking at -- if you go and look at them they differ in key ways from the implentation proposed and patented by TIVO. The patent office agreed upon issuing the patent that the new implementation was unique and novel.

The fact that TIVO acknowledged - as it was required to do by law - seven other patents that deal with the same basic concept is not unusual nor does it in anyway hurt their case.

Their effort to protect THEIR implementation is what is at trial in this matter. You are correct, another case may determine their implementation infringes on someone else's prior patent. Entirely possible -- but not the subject of this litigation.

Echostar maybe bring up those other patents or they may not. My gut tells me they are trying for a defense that says the implementation they have is their own and theirs alone. Raising questions about other patents will muddy the waters and could potentially open them up to further litigation from one of those other patent holders.

And this trial could well prove Echostars implementation is unique. I'm not familiar enough with their process to understand how exactly it might be unique. From the documents I've seen and in reviewing the TIVO patents, it certainly seems that TIVO at least has a decent chance.

In the end, this trial is all about the "HOW" of the end result of pausing & trick playing TV programming is accomplished in the two implementations in dispute.

NOT the vague process of pausing live TV.

Example : The process of washing clothes via a machine has been around for well over 50 years. Yet, patents for new implementations of achieving clean clothes via a mechanical device continue to be issued for unique and novel designs that do not infringe on prior art; or in some cases, build upon prior patents. The TIVO patent differs from prior patented material in enough ways to be unique. (According to the overworked and underfunded and sometimes notoriously mistaken patent office - they may have been right or wrong.. who knows at this point)

My cursory review of some of the patents involved does see some basic differences that are fundamental to making a CE device low-cost and consumer accessible.

Some engineer somewhere may be in the process of patenting some NEW way of pausing live TV that is completely new and differs substantially from whatever we all know today. That would be patentable because it's a new means to achieve the same goal as TIVO and any of the other pausing TV patents.

To say this case is about pausing live TV is wrong. It's not. Even a superficial reading of the court documents indicate that. The case is fairly complex -- as are the patent(s) involved.

J
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:11 PM   #30
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Full disclosure of what you know to be true is standard yes. Dale is involved in patent & securities law and I'm sure he could chime in.
John, I think you are doing well without my chiming in. I am not, however a securities or patent lawyer.

I am a commercial lawyer that specializes in negotiating and drafting commerical agreements between technology/Internet/interactive media industry participants. I have a particular interest in iMedia and video game law. FYI, in addition to the iMedia page I've been linking to in this story, I also maintain a video game law news page:
www.daledietrich.com/gaming/
That said, I agree with you that disclosure of possibly harmful existing patents in an SEC filing, filed before TiVo's patents were granted, was exactly what TiVo was obligated to do in SEC filings and admits nothing.

I agree with John, that such mandated early disclosure does not weaken TiVo's current case.

But, hey, I'm not a litigator or a patent lawyer, so take these thoughts for what they are worth.

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Old 04-03-2006, 07:19 PM   #31
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And I'm not even a lawyer. So.. there's that..
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:53 PM   #32
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I am definitely not saying it is about pausing live TV. TiVo's disclosure gave, as an example amongst many patents that they were aware of, that there were seven they knew of regarding pausing live TV.

There is lots of intellectual property out there, this case is about one portion of it, and there are other pending cases.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:44 PM   #33
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seems like the video switch that takes the load of the CPU stood out as an important piece of the ability to pause live TV and other trick play that is at the heart of the patent TiVo has.

be interesting when TiVo has a chance to talk about what Echostar has in their DVRs.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:05 PM   #34
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seems like the video switch that takes the load of the CPU stood out as an important piece of the ability to pause live TV and other trick play that is at the heart of the patent TiVo has.

be interesting when TiVo has a chance to talk about what Echostar has in their DVRs.
I don't know much about patent law, but I can't imagine that video switch by itself is patentable. This is a solution that has been known for at least 20 years before TiVo was invented.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:38 AM   #35
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I don't know much about patent law, but I can't imagine that video switch by itself is patentable. This is a solution that has been known for at least 20 years before TiVo was invented.
I wouldn't have believed that the idea of a "grid type" guide could be patented either, but there ya go.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:50 PM   #36
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I don't know much about patent law, but I can't imagine that video switch by itself is patentable. This is a solution that has been known for at least 20 years before TiVo was invented.
It's not a "video switch" in the true A/B switch definition... Its a chip that allows the direct transfer of data (DMA) from the MPEG encoder to the hard drive, or from the drive to the MPEG decoder. IIRC from a technical presentation Barton gave 4+ years ago, I believe data flows without even landing in main memory... And certainly, the CPU is only minimally involved - just to set up each transfer (as is typical in DMA transactions, by definition).

And none of that was available 20 years ago... And it was certainly innovative and novel when the patent was issued.

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Old 04-04-2006, 04:54 PM   #37
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I wouldn't have believed that the idea of a "grid type" guide could be patented either, but there ya go.
Yes, the "StarSight" patent is a big one... Although I think it will actually expire in the next 2-3 years?

But I have no problem with that patent. To me, it's in the same vein as Amazon's 1-click-purchase button patent. Both were unique and novel when they were invented, but appear obvious once shown. Just like most magic tricks, and well, the light bulb...

There's a similar effect with modern art - "I coulda drawn that!" Yeah, but you didn't, at least, not first.

Jeff
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:14 PM   #38
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It's not a "video switch" in the true A/B switch definition... Its a chip that allows the direct transfer of data (DMA) from the MPEG encoder to the hard drive, or from the drive to the MPEG decoder. IIRC from a technical presentation Barton gave 4+ years ago, I believe data flows without even landing in main memory... And certainly, the CPU is only minimally involved - just to set up each transfer (as is typical in DMA transactions, by definition).

And none of that was available 20 years ago... And it was certainly innovative and novel when the patent was issued.

Jeff
I don't get it at all now. If your description is correct (and have no reason to doubt it) then this patent does not apply to Dish receivers at all. They don't have MPEG encoder so they can't possibly use the same or similar chip to do "video switching".
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:21 PM   #39
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Dish still has a decoding path from the drive to the MPEG decoder. Violating a portion of a patent is still a violation.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #40
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Washington Post Article

Here is a very pro-TiVo article on the case.

-Mark
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