ViaSat patent writ against Loral

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), one of the world’s most important satellite builders, has been hit with a lawsuit alleging patent infringements. The plaintiff is ViaSat, a California-based satellite services operator best known for its WildBlue broadband-by-satellite businesses.

The writ argues that SS/L used ViaSat-originated technologies in other satellites without ViaSat’s knowledge or approval. ViaSat says that in 2009 it recognised certain similarities between its own VaiSat-1 satellite, specially built by SS/L to serve V iaSat’s broadband by satellite technology, and that of competitor Hughes’ Jupiter-branded satellite (also being supplied by SS/L) as being suspicious.

Both satellites are, on first examination, remarkably similar in their functionality. They offer high throughput bandwidth in an attempt to lower the costs of satellite-delivered broadband. Both craft deliver about 140 gigabits/second of transmission capacity.

SS/L, in an SEC filing, says it believes it can explain its actions. Meanwhile ViaSat has paused its action pending out of court discussions.