The showdown at high noon between digital video recorder pioneer TiVo
And the battle goes on. TiVo is still seeking to force EchoStar and Dish to disable DVR boxes that use software that it asserts violates its patents.
In my dream world, EchoStar would now sign a license agreement with TiVo, which in turn would take a victory lap and sign more deals with other service providers like Time Warner Cable
That may be what EchoStar should do to save itself from further legal hassles and expenses. In reality, EchoStar sailed yet another Hail Mary downfield, asking the Patent Office to invalidate TiVo's "time warp" patent.
I'm no lawyer (and I don't play one on TV), but the relentlessly TiVo-philiac history of this case points to the likelihood of yet another ignominious EchoStar defeat. Five years ago, Dish settled an eerily similar lawsuit by Gemstar TV Guide, now a part of Macrovision
It's not too late for history to repeat itself. TiVo needs to win or settle this suit in order to become the high-margin software business it really wants to be. For EchoStar and Dish, it's just one last concession to put this episode behind them. The market hates uncertainty; better, then, to get everything resolved sooner rather than later.
Kiss and make up, and the world becomes a better place for both adversaries -- along with their customers and investors.
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, nor does he subscribe to any of their services. His DVR is another knock-off brand. You can check out Anders' holdings or a bio if you like. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.