East Texas jury levies $21M verdict against Hughes Network Systems for patent infringement

By David Yates | Aug 9, 2017

MARSHALL – An East Texas jury recently found Hughes Network Systems should pay a defense contractor more than $21 million in damages for infringing a broadband patent used at offshore drilling sites.

Israel-based Elbit Systems, an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world, filed suit against Hughes on Jan. 1, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, Bluetide Communications and Helm Hotels Group were also named as defendants in the complaint.

Elbit Systems accused the defendants of infringing patent Nos. 6,240,073 (the ‘073 patent) and 7,245,874 (the ‘874 patent).

The claimed invention of the ‘073 patent is infringed by broadband satellite systems that operate according to the Internet Protocol over Satellite (IPoS) Standard, which was ratified as a U.S. Telecommunications Industry Association standard in November 2003, the complaint states.

The IPoS standard is based upon Defendant Hughes’s “HughesNet®” two-way satellite system.

Hughes manufactures and sells broadband satellite systems that are compliant with the IPoS standard, and components that make up such systems, such as the

Hughes HX/HN broadband satellite system, the complaint states.

On Aug. 7, the federal jury found Hughes infringed the ‘073 patent but not the ‘874 patent, awarding Elbit $21,075,750 in damages.

Jurors also found that Hughes’ infringement was not willful.

Hughes is represented in part by Kurt Pankratz, attorney for the Dallas law firm Baker Botts.

Elbit is represented in part by Kurt Calia, attorney for the California law firm of Covington & Burling.

Case No. 2:15-cv-00037-RWS-RSP

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