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Protecting intellectual property is crucial to giving businesses the competitive edge they need to thrive. Whether you intend to enforce or defend against a claim of patent or trademark infringement, it is important have on your side a legal team with experience in intellectual property law.

Recently, a $100 million settlement put an end to two intellectual property lawsuits brought by the satellite technology company ViaStat, based in Carlsbad. ViaStat's first satellites were built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), which Viastat claimed breached a non-disclosure agreement by making proprietary data available to another satellite company, Hughes Network Systems. According to the lawsuit, Viastat's proprietary data was used by Hughes to design a competing satellite.

In April, a San Diego jury found that SS/L had breached a non-disclosure agreement, and that three of ViaStat's patents had been infringed. The jury heard only one case, but the $100 million settlement also ends another patent infringement suit that was expected to go to trial in 2016.

ViaStat's chief operating officer and president called the settlement "a prudent solution that ends the distraction and cost of protracted litigation." He also noted that the amount of the settlement indicates the "attractive economic value" of ViaStat's satellite technology. The settlement is believed to be the largest yet in an intellectual property dispute involving technology for commercial satellite communications.

If you have patent infringement concerns, then an attorney with experience in this area of law can monitor patent portfolios and investigate patent validity. A mistake or lack of planning could result in serious damage to your bottom line, so it is crucial to cover all of your legal bases.

Source: Times of San Diego, "ViaStat Settles for $100 Million in Satellite Patent Dispute," Chris Jennewein, Sept. 8, 2014

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