On November 20th the U.S. District Court of Texas set a date of February 17, 2009 for a bench trial to determine if EchoStar’s software is still infringing on TiVo’s patents. But now, according to the San Jose Mercury News, Dish Network is angling for a jury trial on the issue.
If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington decides that a jury trial is warranted, it would bring everything around to where it was a few years ago – a trial to determine if TiVo’s patents are being infringed. While the jury in the first trial sided with TiVo, and the verdict was upheld on appeal, Dish claims that their new software is no longer infringing. So if a new trial is granted it’d be the same case, redux.
I Am Not A Lawyer, but it seems odd to me. Can this be stretched out indefinitely just by issuing software updates and saying each one needs a new jury trial to determine if it is infringing? I think this show jumped the shark.
Disclaimer: I work for Sling Media, which is owned by EchoStar.