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ViaSat Settles Its Lawsuits Against 2 Companies for More Than $100M

The legal battle that pitted Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. against Space Systems/Loral and Loral Space and Communications Inc. has reached its end, the companies acknowledged.

ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) claimed that the two companies infringed patents and breached confidentiality agreements by revealing ViaSat technology to a competitor — Hughes Network Systems LLC, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corp. (Nasdaq: SATS).

ViaSat said on Sept. 8 that it will settle its claims in two lawsuits against SS/L and Loral, in exchange for $100 million, plus interest, to be paid to ViaSat through 2016.

At one point Space Systems/Loral was ordered to pay $283 million in damages, though attorneys were able to set that sum aside and ask for a new trial on damages.

ViaSat — before the settlement was reached — had also entered a second lawsuit against Space Systems/Loral, which was set to go to trial in early 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 lawsuits,” Rick Baldridge, president and COO of ViaSat, said in a prepared statement.

Baldridge added in his Sept. 8 statement that the settlement was a “prudent” course of action.

Space Systems Loral is a subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

“We are very pleased to settle these disputes with ViaSat,” said Daniel Friedmann, CEO of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (TSX: MDA). “This settlement enables SSL and ViaSat to put our disputes behind us, which benefits everyone.”

Loral Space & Communications Inc. is the former parent company of Space Systems/Loral.

“We are pleased with the settlement with ViaSat as it avoids further exposure to the uncertainties of jury determinations in complex patent matters at a cost to both Loral and SSL that, given the breadth of the settlement, is well within the range of reasonable settlements,” Michael B. Targoff, Vice Chairman of Loral (Nasdaq: LORL), said in a prepared statement.

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