Jury Hits Hughes Network with $21 Million Verdict for Infringement of a Satellite Communications Technology Patent Belonging to an International Defense Company

| Karen Cassidy Selvaggio

Editors: Joseph Cianfrani and Boris Zelkind

Patent Judgments and Awards

On August 7, 2017, after nearly two-and-a-half years of litigation, an East Texas jury awarded just over $21,000,000 to Elbit Systems of America and its affiliate (“Elbit”). Elbit, an international defense electronics company, sued Hughes Network Systems, LLC (“Hughes”) and several of its customers on January 21, 2015 for infringement of two of its patents. The dispute involved a patent directed to two-way satellite communications, and another patent relating to providing backup connections for cellular telephone networks via satellite. Elbit accused Hughes of patent infringement by installing its broadband networks for customers. Prior to trial, all defendants other than Hughes were dismissed from the case. After a six-day trial, the jury determined that Hughes infringed the two-way satellite communications patent. However, the jury found that Hughes’s infringement was not willful. Although Hughes argued that any damages award for infringement of the communications patent should be limited to no more than $2,000,000, the jury awarded Elbit over ten times that amount—$21,075,750—in damages.

The case is Elbit Systems Land and C4I Ltd, et al. v. Hughes Network Systems, LLC, Civil Action No. 15-cv-0037 (EDTX)