Court Upholds Verdict in Viasat Breach of Contract and Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Space Systems/Loral
Carlsbad, Calif. – A federal court judge has upheld a jury’s verdict that Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) breached its contract with Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq:VSAT) by misusing Viasat’s proprietary and intellectual property and infringed Viasat patents covering the groundbreaking Viasat-1 technology. In addition, the judge ordered a new jury trial on the damages phase of the case, where Viasat will be given the forum to present its case to show the full damages caused by the breach and infringement. In April, a jury awarded $283 million in damages to Viasat.
“The court’s rulings supported our case in nearly all substantive respects. Most importantly, the judge confirmed the jury’s findings of infringement and breach of contract, findings which were clearly supported by evidence showing that SS/L willingly took our inventions and sold them to Hughes,” said Rick Baldridge, Viasat president and COO. “That evidence showed in detail how SS/L misappropriated our technology, including sending our proprietary Viasat-1 specification to Hughes and secretly trying to patent the Viasat-1 design as its own invention, among other illegal actions.”
“We strongly maintain that SS/L’s actions caused significant financial and business harm to Viasat, and we look forward to the opportunity to reinforce the full extent of the damage in the November proceeding.”
In addition, the court also set an August 26 hearing on Viasat’s motion for a permanent injunction prohibiting SS/L from manufacturing or selling infringing satellites or satellite components, including the continued manufacturing of infringing satellites under construction.
In February 2012, Viasat served a complaint for patent infringement and breach of contract against SS/L and Loral Space & Communications related to the unauthorized use of Viasat’s intellectual property, including technology Viasat developed for its ground breaking 100+ Gbps Viasat-1 satellite. In September 2013, Viasat filed an additional complaint for patent infringement against Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) related to the ongoing, unauthorized, and willful use of Viasat technologies. In April 2014, a federal court jury found that SS/L breached the non-disclosure agreements and manufacturing contract between the parties and also infringed three Viasat patents relating to its Viasat-1 high-capacity satellite system. The trial was held in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
Viasat was represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in the lawsuit.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to the timing, receipt, and amount of any award and/or the grant of any injunctive relief in the company’s lawsuit with SS/L and Loral. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Viasat-2 satellite; unexpected expenses related to the satellite project; our ability to successfully implement our business plan for our broadband satellite services on our anticipated timeline or at all, including with respect to the Viasat-2 satellite system; risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of Viasat-2 and our other satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance; negative audits by the U.S. government; continued turmoil in the global business environment and economic conditions; delays in approving U.S. government budgets and cuts in government defense expenditures; our reliance on U.S. government contracts, and on a small number of contracts which account for a significant percentage of our revenues; our ability to successfully develop, introduce and sell new technologies, products and services; reduced demand for products and services as a result of continued constraints on capital spending by customers; changes in relationships with, or the financial condition of, key customers or suppliers; our reliance on a limited number of third parties to manufacture and supply our products; increased competition and other factors affecting the communications and defense industries generally; the effect of adverse regulatory changes on our ability to sell products and services; our level of indebtedness and ability to comply with applicable debt covenants; our involvement in litigation, including intellectual property claims and litigation to protect our proprietary technology; and our dependence on a limited number of key employees. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in our SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.