LONDON--()--The Supreme Court of the United States of America denied a petition to hear the challenge by EchoStar Satellite Corporation, now known as Dish Network LLC, EchoStar Communications Corporation, EchoStar Technologies Corporation and NagraStar L.L.C., a joint venture company between the EchoStar parties and Kudelski Group (collectively, "EchoStar"), to a Ninth Circuit decision in which NDS was stated to be the sole prevailing party in a lawsuit between EchoStar and NDS.
“EchoStar did not succeed 'on any significant issue' or 'achieve any of the benefit it sought in bringing suit' under the Communications Act.”
The Supreme Court's denial ends the challenge to the Ninth Circuit's award against EchoStar in August 2010, which awarded NDS $18 million and the release of a further US$4.3 million of NDS’ funds held in escrow pending the appeals. NDS is seeking a further $1.7 million in attorney’s fees, costs and interest.
In August 2010, the Ninth Circuit stated in its decision that “EchoStar did not succeed 'on any significant issue' or 'achieve any of the benefit it sought in bringing suit' under the Communications Act.” In February 2011, the Ninth Circuit further stated, “As we discussed in the memorandum decision, EchoStar’s characterisation of itself as a prevailing party defies both the legal standard and common sense.”
In 2003, EchoStar filed a $2 billion claim against NDS alleging that NDS was responsible for the compromise of EchoStar’s satellite television programming platform. NDS vigorously defended the allegations made against it, establishing that NDS played no part in the compromise of EchoStar’s security system.
Dr. Abe Peled, Executive Chairman, NDS Group Limited, commented: “In May 2008 we were overwhelmingly exonerated by the jury following trial and are gratified that the Supreme Court denial can now be recognised as conclusive validation that we were not involved in compromising the EchoStar platform, putting firmly to rest the unsavoury insinuations made during this court case which we believe were designed to malign NDS’ reputation.”
Dr Peled continued, “As the industry’s leading provider of pay-TV security solutions, NDS has a known reputation for successfully protecting billions of dollars worth of content for its customers and being at the forefront of the battle against piracy which is so injurious to the industry. From the outset of the allegations made by EchoStar, we have maintained that the claims were baseless and an effort to thwart competition and deflect attention from a fundamentally flawed technology and strategy pursued by EchoStar and NagraStar. NDS today stands proud of its position as a leading global provider of end-to-end software solutions to the pay-television industry, achieved not through the underhanded schemes alleged by EchoStar, but through the sheer hard work and investment in its 5200 global employees who we believe include some of the brightest and most talented engineers in the industry, with a patent portfolio of over 475 granted patents and over 500 patents pending. This decision is an endorsement to the hard work of our valued employees.”
He concluded, “In bringing a $2 billion dollar lawsuit against a company much smaller than themselves, we believe that EchoStar looked to remove a formidable competitor, in NDS, from the market. Their claims were overwhelmingly rejected and today NDS saw the release of $4.3 million and expects to receive a further $18 million from EchoStar. There can rarely be a more satisfactory outcome for a defendant. The court case has been a nine-year road for NDS but at no time did we lose faith in ourselves or in the US legal system. We will continue to pursue our claim for additional attorney’s fees, costs and interest.”
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NDS Group Ltd. creates the technologies and applications that enable pay-TV operators to securely deliver digital content to TV STBs (set-top boxes), DVRs (digital video recorders), PCs, mobiles and other multimedia devices. Over 90 of the world’s leading pay-TV platforms rely on NDS solutions to protect and enhance their business.
NDS’ VideoGuard® is the world’s market-leading content and service protection solution, deployed in 114 million pay-TV households. VideoGuard conditional access (CA) and digital rights management (DRM) technologies safeguard pay-TV service revenues exceeding $50 billion. NDS middleware, which enables a host of advanced services for subscribers, has been deployed on 206 million devices. NDS DVR technology, centred around XTV™, is a leader in the global industry with 45 million units deployed. (Deployment figures as of 30th September 2011).
Headquartered in the UK, with over 5000 employees, NDS remains committed to investing in technology and development with over 75% of its employees dedicated to pioneering work at development centres in France, India, Israel, Korea, UK and US.
NDS Group Ltd. is a private company owned by the Permira Funds and News Corporation. See www.nds.com for more information.