In the Matter of Kirk v. Klingon

If I had the time or the interest--or a car I thought could withstand a drive further than 12.8 miles--I might head out to Marshall on Wednesday for what oughta prove an interesting trial that just might have an enormous impact on the satellite and cable TV business. At long last, TiVo v. EchoStar, Inc., goes to trial, some two years and three months after TiVo filed suit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, claiming that EchoStar's "set-top box violates TiVo's patent for a 'multimedia time warping system' developed by a half-dozen engineers in California," according to this Associated Press story. (By the way, I do believe this was the same allegation made in several original Star Trek episodes.)

In short, EchoStar owns the Dish satellite network, which has its own digital video recorder, while TiVo has a deal with DirecTV. Should TiVo win, says the AP:

"It could sue cable companies that offer other set-top boxes or at least force them to pay licensing fees. Defeat would probably relegate TiVo to a niche place in the market it created, analysts say."

I can't make the trial. Perhaps you could TiVo it for me? Thanks. --Robert Wilonsky

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