ViaSat, Inc. was awarded $283 million in damages last Thursday after a California district court jury held SSL liable for breach of contract and for infringing various ViaSat patents in building high-throughput broadband satellites for EchoStar and other competitors of ViaSat. The patent lawsuit involves technologies that were developed by ViaSat for use in the SSL-built ViaSat-1 satellite. Heralded as the world’s highest capacity communications satellite, ViaSat-1 has provided broadband coverage to the U.S. and Canada from the 115.1° West Longitude orbital position since its launch in 2011. ViaSat selected SSL (which, at the time, was owned by Loral) to build ViaSat-1 in 2008, and the parties signed a confidentiality agreement as part of their contract. ViaSat’s patent complaint accused SSL of later constructing a highcapacity satellite, known as Jupiter 1/EchoStar 17 that is “almost identical” to the design of ViaSat-1, and the suit further alleged that SSL filed patent applications that included technical data covered by the ViaSat-SSL confidentiality agreement. Concluding that SSL had infringed three ViaSat patents and had also breached confidentiality and manufacturing agreements signed with ViaSat, the jury awarded damages of $181 million for patent infringement and $102 million for breach of contract. The court has yet to rule on a related ViaSat motion for a permanent injunction against the construction and sale of SSL spacecraft that include technologies covered by the verdict. While officials of Loral and SSL vowed to appeal, ViaSat President Rick Baldridge voiced appreciation for “the jury’s hard work and their attention to the evidence.”