Play by Play Coverage of the TiVo vs. Echostar Trial, TiVo Damages Estimated at $87 Million
TiVo damages estimated at $87 million Right now on Digg’s front page is a Yahoo! News Story on the TiVo vs. Echostar trial going on regarding TiVo’s DVR patents. The case is big in large part because TiVo is small and still unprofitable. Some have suggested that the very fate of TiVo as a business rests on the outcome of this trial.
TiVo has increasingly faced stiff competition from cheapo cable and satellite freebie type DVRs and some have questioned their long term ability to stay in business in an increasingly competitive landscape. At the same time TiVo was the original innovator of the DVR and has become so publicly indentifiable with DVR technology that their very brand name has slipped in the lexicon of language for DVR functionality. People don’t say did you DVR that last night. They say did you TiVo that last night — even when not using TiVo.
TiVo is arguing that at issue here is that when they showed Echostar (owner of the DISH satellite network) a prototype TiVo way back when, rather than work out a deal with TiVo Echostar just kept the prototype and copied it. DirecTV worked out a deal with TiVo at the time and has been reported to be paying TiVo $1 per month for DirecTV TiVo units.
The Yahoo News article is a decent overview of the trial situation as it stands today, but if you want the real in depth coverage forgo Yahoo! News and instead go directly to the Marshall News Messenger. The who? you say. Right. The Marshall News Messenger. While I don’t know of a blogger covering the trial live, the Marshall News Messenger is the next best thing. An East Texas local newspaper covering an East Texas trial with certainly national and broad tech interest.
Over at the Marshall News Messenger you will be able to find that it’s a five-man, five-woman jury, that a Dallas consultant Keith Ugone is earning $425 an hour to work as an expert witness for TiVo on the case, and that Stuart West (TiVo’s VP for finance) was laid off years ago when TiVo couldn’t get initial financing but rehired once they locked in a patent for DVR technology. More coverage of the trial from the Marshall News Messenger is available here and here.
It’s pretty cool to see such indepth reporting from a small local paper and nice work by Marshall News Messenger reporters Sandra Cason and Bridgette Outten.
More on the Marshall News Messenger: “The Marshall News Messenger was founded in 1877 and has, almost from the beginning, earned a reputation as being one of the finest small newspapers in Texas and as the starting point for several journalists of renown, including Bill Moyers. The News Messenger is consistently one of the most honored newspapers in its class in Texas’ APME contest and is also well-represented in other journalism awards.
The News Messenger, with a circulation of more than 8,000 on Sunday, is the paper of record for Harrison County, Texas and the county seat of Marshall, home of the nationally famous Wonderland of Lights. The county is situated in far northeastern Texas, sharing a border with Louisiana.”