Monday, July 31, 2006

EchoStar and DirecTV planning to merge?

from the Denver Post of July 31: When EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV head to a Federal Communications Commission auction Aug. 9, they're not simply bidding on wireless airwaves but for survival in a broadband world. The satellite TV companies have teamed up under the name Wireless DBS LLC to bid on licenses for Advanced Wireless Services spectrum.

It could also be part of a courtship leading to a merger between EchoStar, based in Douglas County, and DirecTV, based in El Segundo, Calif. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. controls DirecTV.

In April 2006, Thomas Hawk wrote of the TiVo patent victory against EchoStar:

In what I described as a win-win for DirecTV and TiVo, earlier this week TiVo and DirecTV renewed their service and support agreement which contained an important provision allowing DirecTV to avoid being sued by TiVo for the next three years.

From the Los Angeles Times: ""If you're going to defend your patents and try to license it, this kind of win certainly makes those negotiations easier," said Larry Gerbrandt, senior vice president and general manager of Nielsen Analytics, which specializes in emerging media technology.

The verdict sent TiVo's shares up 22% to $9.80 in after-hours trading, after falling 7 cents to $8.05 in regular trading. EchoStar's shares closed up 12 cents at $29.97 during regular trading. They were little changed in late trading."

EchoStar of course will appeal this verdict but it's impact is largely more that it gives TiVo an incredibly strong hand to negotiate with other providers looking to avoid a suit similar to EchoStars.

from an EchoStar case, 448 F.3d at 1302

EchoStar contends that waiver of opinions does not extend to advice and work product given after litigation began. While this may be true when the work product is never communicated to the client, it is not the case when the advice is relevant to ongoing willful infringement, so long as that ongoing infringement is at issue in the litigation. See Akeva LLC, 243 F.Supp.2d at 423 (”[O]nce a party asserts the defense of advice of counsel, this opens to inspection the advice received during the entire course of the alleged infringement.”); see also Crystal Semiconductor Corp. v. TriTech Microelectronics Int’l, Inc., 246 F.3d 1336, 1351-1353 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (noting that an infringer may continue its infringement after notification of the patent by filing suit and that the infringer has a duty of due care to avoid infringement after such notification).

[work product privilege]

Also, see later case Informatica v. BODI, 2006 WL 2038461, citing to EchoStar.

See also EchoStar v. Finisar.


Post a Comment

<< Home