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Judge Rules EchoStar Didn't Infringe Patents

July 04, 2002|Bloomberg News

EchoStar Communications Corp. said a federal judge ruled it didn't infringe Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.'s patents, the second such ruling in two weeks over on-screen program guides.

EchoStar said U.S. District Judge Lacy H. Thornburg in Asheville, N.C., ruled that none of its current products infringed three Gemstar patents for program guide features. He requested more information before ruling on an EchoStar product that's no longer in production.

Pasadena-based Gemstar holds more than 190 patents related to the software running interactive menus that help TV viewers pick what show to watch, and has sued EchoStar and other rivals to enforce them. An attempt to block the import of some set-top boxes was hurt when an administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a preliminary ruling against Gemstar.

On Nasdaq, Gemstar shares closed unchanged at $5, while EchoStar fell 47 cents to $16.04.

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