Carlsbad-based ViaSat said Monday it reached a $100 million settlement with the company that built its first satellite and then used ViaSat’s technology to build competing communications satellites.
In April a U.S. District Court jury in San Diego found that satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral breached a non-disclosure agreement with ViaSat by providing proprietary data to Hughes Network Systems that was used to design Hughes’ Jupiter-1 satellite. The court also found that three ViaSat patents were infringed.
A second suit involving patent infringement in the design of a another satellite, the Jupiter-2, was set to go to trial in early 2016, but the $100 million settlement ends both suits.
“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.”
The company’s next generation ViaSat-2 satellite is being manufactured by Boeing with the first launch scheduled for mid 2016.
ViaSat creates satellite and other wireless networking systems for fast, secure, and high-performance communications to any location for consumers, governments, enterprises and the military.