ViaSat Asks Court To Halt SSL Work on at Least One Satellite

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PARIS — Satellite broadband hardware and services provider ViaSat Inc. is seeking a court injunction to stop Space Systems/Loral (SSL) from continuing work on at least one satellite it is building, and perhaps others, that ViaSat alleges violate patents for which ViaSat won a jury award of $283 million.

Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat has said SSL’s current backlog includes one or more satellites that are covered by ViaSat patents. Exhibit A for ViaSat has been the Jupiter 2/EchoStar 19 Ka-band broadband satellite under construction for EchoStar Corp.’s Hughes division.

Jupiter 2/EchoStar 19 is similar to the Jupiter 1/EchoStar 17 satellite, already in orbit, that ViaSat said is a direct copy of the ViaSat 1 satellite. ViaSat and Hughes are direct competitors in offering consumer satellite broadband in North America.

It remains unclear if ViaSat will seek an injunction to stop SSL’s work on two Ka-band consumer broadband satellites for NBN Co. of Australia.

Loral Space and Communications of New York, SSL’s former owner and the lead defendant in the current phase of the ViaSat-SSL litigation, said in a June 19 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that ViaSat, in addition to seeking an injunction, is also seeking a court award of $41 million in interest that ViaSat said accumulated before the jury award in April.

Loral, for its part, said it is asking the California District Court judge that presided over the trial to vacate the award. Loral said it would be seeking a new trial on the patent infringement.

A court hearing on these post-trial motions has been scheduled for Aug. 7.

 

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