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Dish Network on top for now in ad-skipping lawsuit

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Dish Network has won the first round of litigation concerning its ad-skipping DVR technology, reports the L.A. Times. The Big Four — CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC — filed suit against the cable company soon after it introduced a new DVR feature called AutoHop that allows viewers to breeze past commercials.

A federal court judge in New York ruled yesterday in favor of Dish’s request for a temporary restraining order against the networks’ California-based litigation. “We’re pleased that the New York federal court has entered a [temporary restraining order] against Fox until the New York court decides whether the suits filed by Fox, CBS, and NBC in California should be enjoined in favor of Dish’s suit in New York,” said Dish General Counsel R. Stanton Dodge in a statement.  “Dish looks forward to presenting its case and prevailing on the merits.”

Fox was the first broadcast company to file suit on the West Coast. However, Dish filed its own suit in New York on May 24, before the networks, in hopes that a prior ruling on the East would set a precedent in its favor.

Both Dish and the broadcast networks have much at stake, as the outcome of the lawsuits — for copyright infringement and breach of contract on Fox’s end — could influence not only what features will be available to viewers on their TV devices but also the price for monthly service.

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