An appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling that EchoStar Communications Corp and Dish Network Corp. infringed a DVRs software patent held by TiVo and will have to pay nearly $74 million in damages, the court ruled on Thursday.

The unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington means that EchoStar (now known as Dish Network Corp.) will have to stop selling and has to switch off over 4 million digital video recorders which infringe TiVo's proprietary technology. The patent in question is patent number 6,233,389 and called the multimedia time wrapping system.

TiVo stock rose $1.97 to close at $8.77.

We are extremely pleased that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously ruled in our favor in EchoStar's appeal of the district court judgment of patent infringement, full award of damages and that the injunction, which was stayed pending appeal, was ordered to be reinstated, TiVo said in a statement.

EchoStar said it would appeal the damage award, and sought to reassure customers that they had a substitute for the infringing software.

The court also remanded the verdict on hardware patent infringements back to the district court for further proceedings.

This improved software is fully operational, has been automatically downloaded to current customers, and does not infringe the TiVo patent at issue in the Federal Circuit's ruling, EchoStar said.