In a settlement of a legal dispute over a long running patent infringement case, the space operations company, Loral, along with its one-time Space Systems/Loral subsidiary, has agreed to pay the space operations company, Viasat, US$100 million.
Space Systems/Loral was alleged to have used proprietary technology on the Viasat-1 spacecraft (which the company was building for Viasat) on other customers’ satellites; specifically Jupiter 1/EchoStar 17. After being found guilty in a jury trial, Loral originally had damages and costs of US$283 million awarded against it by a court in April 2014. This amount was later overturned in an appeal – though the verdict stood.
To avoid a new expensive trial having to take place, an out of court settlement has now been reached in which a two-stage payment of US$100 million would be made to Viasat as damages, but with Space Systems/Loral in return now having full rights to use the “Viasat technology”. The legal costs split is to be settled by arbitration.
Comment by David Todd: The payment is a “fair way out” for both sides, not keen to pursue further legal action.