TIVO Patent

A court case beginning this week in Texas will pit TiVo against Englewood, Colorado-based satellite-TV giant EchoStar Communications.

TiVo alleges that EchoStar, which operates the Dish satellite network, stole its technology that lets viewers skip the commercials.

TiVo also claims EchoStar violated a TiVo patent on technology used to record one program while playing back another.

The trial is scheduled to start Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas.

It is seeking unspecified damages.

TiVo produced stand-alone digital video recorders, or DVR, in 1997.

EchoStar produced its first DVR in 1999 and now offers free boxes to new customers.