Echostar wins in 2nd patent ruling

Purchase of DirecTV pending before federal regulators

HOLLYWOOD — A federal judge has ruled that EchoStar Communications did not infringe patents held by Gemstar Development Corp. and SuperGuide Corp.

U.S. Court Judge Lacy H. Thornburg ruled on motions for summary judgment in a patent infringement case pending in North Carolina. According to a statement issued Wednesday by EchoStar, Thompson ruled that none of EchoStar’s current products infringe any of the asserted patents. The patents, asserted by Gemstar and SuperGuide, concern certain electronic program guide features.

Second favorable ruling

“We’re pleased that for the second time in two weeks, a judge has found that additional patents asserted by Gemstar are not infringed by EchoStar products,” said David K. Moskowitz, EchoStar senior vice president and general counsel.

Three patents are asserted in the North Carolina case. Last week an Intl. Trade Commission judge ruled that EchoStar’s products did not infringe three other patents.

EchoStar includes two interrelated business units. Dish Network is EchoStar’s direct broadcast satellite system, which serves more than 7.1 million subscribers. EchoStar Technologies designs, distributes and oversees the manufacturing of DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for Dish Network and various international customers.

EchoStar’s planned purchase of competitor DirecTV is pending before federal regulators.

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