ViaSat Reaches Settlement with SSL – Satellite Today

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ViaSat-1 in the Compact Antenna Test Range (CATR). Photo: SSL

[Via Satellite 09-08-2014] ViaSat has reached a comprehensive settlement of all outstanding claims related to its litigation with Space Systems/Loral (SSL) and Loral Space & Communications for breach of contract and patent infringement.

In April, a U.S. District Court in San Diego, Calif. determined that SSL breached its non-disclosure agreement with ViaSat by disclosing proprietary data to SSL customer and ViaSat competitor, Hughes Network Systems, which was used to design Hughes’ Jupiter 1 (now EchoStar 17) High-Throughput Satellite (HTS). The jury also found three ViaSat patents to be both valid and infringed by SSL’s design of the Jupiter 1 satellite. A second lawsuit covering additional ViaSat patents and alleging infringement by additional SSL satellites, including Jupiter 2 (EchoStar 19), was likely to go to trial in early 2016. Under the terms of this agreement, ViaSat will settle its claims in both suits in exchange for $100 million plus interest to be paid to ViaSat through 2016.

“We have worked hard and invested much to prove that ViaSat created and owns the critical enabling technology of the first generation of high-capacity satellites built by SS/L, including ViaSat 1, Jupiter 1, and others still being manufactured and identified in the referenced suits,” said Rick Baldridge, president and COO of ViaSat. “We believe this settlement is the largest ever in a commercial satellite communications intellectual property matter. It is a prudent solution that ends the distraction and cost of protracted litigation. The settlement also establishes an attractive economic value for our enabling technology that is in use among current and planned satellites, while allowing us to focus our full efforts on our next generation high-capacity satellite technologies.”

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