Could relations between TiVo and EchoStar being thawing?

Rapid TV News has an interesting article on the relationship between TiVo and EchoStar.

One market analyst, Bear Stearns’ Kunal Madhukar, summed up the situation by saying he was “incredibly optimistic” that EchoStar’s DISH platform and TiVo would shortly wrap up their IP dispute. “On the 3Q conf call, [Ergen] stated that DISH will have a conversation with TiVo on how the two companies can work together, regardless of the litigation outcome. However, the relative nature of those negotiations and the strength of those negotiations will depend a lot about how the court of appeals rules. We perused previous conference call transcripts, where the company stated that (i) it was confident of winning the case (4Q06 call), and (ii) now that TiVo had disclosed exactly how its patent worked, EchoStar’s “set of world-class digital engineers” will certainly be looking at alternative technologies (3Q06 call). This is the first time DISH has ever talked about any negotiation. We view this step as a positive for TiVo in the long term,” says Bear Stearns.

That would certainly be interesting. If could be that EchoStar isn’t as confident in their appeal now that oral arguments have been heard and they could gauge the reactions of the judges. If EchoStar and TiVo do reach a settlement, I’d expect it to more likely be in the form of a patent license than in bringing the full TiVo interface to the Dish Network PVRs.

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