A jury in a US District Court in California has exonerated NDS Group companies in the lawsuit brought by satellite operator EchoStar and Nagrastar, a joint venture company between EchoStar and Kudelski Group. The level of damages claimed by the plaintiffs, widely reported as amounting to over $1 billion, has ultimately resulted in an award in actual damages of $45.69 or, in statutory damages, of $1000, relating to a single incident involving a test card used by NDS.
In a statement, NDS said that it was pleased that the four-week long trial in which it faced what it described as “baseless allegations, widely repeated and exaggerated to suggest the involvement of our majority shareholder News Corporation,” had ended in a resounding affirmation of NDS and its business ethics and proper conduct.
“NDS has been at the forefront of fighting pay-TV piracy for the last decade, on the technological front, as well as on the legislative and law enforcement fronts. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve our current record of zero piracy,” continued the statement. “We have stated consistently throughout the course of this trial that the piracy of EchoStar was the result of inferior technology arising from inadequate investment in research and development by Kudelski. This position has been validated with today's verdict.”