First, I’m happy to report that one of my favorite patent blogs, the 271 Patent Blog by Peter Zura is back in business. Welcome back Peter.
I’ve been covering the TiVo v. EchoStar case here. Peter has information about the companion case EchoStar v. TiVo here. In the first case TiVo sued EchoStar for patent infringement, and in the second, EchoStar sued TiVo for patent infringement. This is great fodder for an antitrust article (or blog post). We have what may be a market duopoly with each side holding potentially essential intellectual property rights.
The take-home for patent attorneys involves the second case — the one filed by EchoStar. That case was recently stayed pending the outcome of an inter partes reexamination filed by TiVo. In its decision to stay, the magistrate judge gave a good amount of weight to the fact that the reexam was inter partes — thus giving both sides an opportunity to continue the litigation in another form — as well as the statutory litigation estoppel effect against TiVo if the validity EchoStar’s patents are reaffirmed in the reexamination process. In other words, the fact that the reexam is inter partes made the court more likely to stay the litigation.