Company Wins $78.9 Million Lawsuit Against DirecTV

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cablewithaview

cablewithaview

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Finisar has been awarded $78,920,250 in a patent infringement suit against DirecTV, Hometown News reported Friday. Finisar, a company based in California, says DirecTV used a patented satellite broadcasting system without a licensing arrangement.

Finisar was originally requesting $1.65 billion in damages, according to court documents. They say that figure represents three percent of the total revenues received by DirecTV.

The trial began last week in U.S. District Court Judge Ron Clark`s courtroom at the federal courthouse in Beaumont. This was the jury’s second day of deliberations.

DirecTV says they were broadcasting 11 years before Finisar patented its system, the Beaumont Enterprise reports.

A courtroom coordinator tells Hometown News the judge will hear post-trial motions in the coming weeks. After that, he will enter his final judgment.

According to the company’s website, Finisar Corporation develops fiber optic subsystems and network performance test systems. These products enable high-speed data communications for networking and storage applications over Gigabit Ethernet local area networks (LANs), Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs), and metropolitan area networks (MANs) using both IP and SONET/SDH-based protocols.

DirecTV claims they were the first entertainment service in the U.S. to deliver all digital-quality, multi-channel TV programming to an 18-inch satellite dish in 1994. It is marketed as a cable alternative.

http://216.87.159.39/news/default.asp?mode=shownews&id=11731
 
vgsantiago

vgsantiago

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Apr 27, 2006
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cablewithaview said:
can you say, "increase".

Yeah, watch your statements for those unexplained charges. Maybe not in dollars, but cents.

Add .50 cents per customer, not changing the dollar amount and it's paids off in no time.
 
VIPERS-PIT

VIPERS-PIT

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Feb 11, 2006
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This will be in the courts for years.
 
E

ebonovic

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Dec 15, 2004
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I am waiting for the lawsuit against the Patent Office....

Their search engine, methods are really broken.

Look at all these cases lately....
There is a common trend among them...

It takes about 10-15 years later for even the Patent holders to realize that their patents where used...
 
cablewithaview

cablewithaview

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DirecTV to Appeal $78.9M Patent Ruling

DirecTV plans to contest a $78.9 million jury verdict that found that the direct-broadcast satellite provider infringed on a patent held by Finisar.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Finisar -- which provides fiber-optic systems for high-speed-data networks -- was awarded the back damages from DirecTV last Friday.

After a two-week trial in Federal District Court, a Beaumont, Texas, jury found that DirecTV and its affiliated companies directly and willfully infringed on Finisar's information-transmission patent and awarded the sizable verdict to the company.

“We believe the jury’s verdict is wrong and represents a distortion of patent-infringement law,” DirecTV said in a prepared statement. “We are confident the facts and law support our position, and we will contest this decision through post-trial motions or on appeal. The jury’s award was substantially less than the damages claimed by Finisar, and we believe the evidence will ultimately show there was no infringement.”

The DBS provider also said it “is committed to respecting the legitimate intellectual-property rights of others, and in this case, DirecTV continues to believe that Finisar’s claims are invalid and that DirecTV’s systems were developed by its own engineers based on pre-existing technology.”

The patent in question addresses unique ways to transmit and broadcast digital information to a wide base of subscribers.

"In reaching a unanimous verdict on all counts, including willful infringement, the jurors sent a strong message regarding the claims in this case," Finisar's local trial counsel, Larry Germer, said in a prepared statement.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6347423.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=SUPP&nid=2226
 
charper1

charper1

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May 18, 2004
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Th patents case system seems flawed based on the comments of how this ran its course. Suing a company that started basic business around 1994 for a patent they claim was issued 11 years later? I am confused how that happens. I also see nothing that DirecTV or EchoStar does now that wasn't really already being done anyway via Ku BUD. Where has Finstar's complaints been all these decades? Why did they only sue DirecTV? Finisar was incorporated September 1, 1999.

10 days trial and only 2 hours to deliberate? Is this another "let's stick it to the big man" case.

What specific DirecTV part or equipment is in violation, has it been listed? Can someone give some in depth details?

EDIT: found this: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/06/23/1693634.htm
 
Last edited:
M

markfp-1

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Feb 13, 2005
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I don't see it causing anymore rate increases than normal. First, it will be tied up in court for years with appeals and for a large company like DirecTV it's just another cost of doing business. In fact, a lot of them carry insurance to cover for lawsuits.
 
cablewithaview

cablewithaview

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DirecTV Pays Finisar $25M More

Finisar received $25 million in additional post-verdict damages from a Texas federal court related to a patent-infringement case against DirecTV, AP reported.

The provider of fiber-optic systems for high-speed-data networks was initially awarded $78.9 million in June after a Beaumont, Texas, jury found that DirecTV and its affiliated companies directly and willfully infringed on Finisar's information-transmission patent.

The patent in question addresses unique ways to transmit and broadcast digital information to a wide base of subscribers.

AP reported that the court decided to give Finisar the additional $25 million "due to DirecTV's willingful infringement," and it granted Finisar prejudgment interest on the jury's verdict at 6% compounded annually since April 4, 1999, or about $12 million.

The court also denied an injunction but ordered DirecTV to pay a compulsory ongoing license fee to Finisar at the rate of $1.60 per set-top box throughout the duration of the patent, which expires in April 2012, according to AP. DirecTV said 2006 sales of new set-tops totaled about 15 million units, AP reported.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6350454.html?display=Breaking+News
 
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