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Hughes motion requests court to reaffirm earlier decision; $114 million judgement against U.S. Government still in force.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 2, 1997--A motion requesting a federal appeals court to reaffirm re·af·firm  
tr.v. re·af·firmed, re·af·firm·ing, re·af·firms
To affirm or assert again.

 its earlier decision awarding Hughes Aircraft Hughes Aircraft Company was a major aerospace and defense company founded by Howard Hughes. The group was based near Ballona Creek, in Culver City, California, USA, on the Pacific Coast.

Hughes Aircraft was acquired by General Motors in 1985.
 Company a $114 million judgement against the U.S. Government in a 24-year patent infringement patent infringement n. the manufacture and/or use of an invention or improvement for which someone else owns a patent issued by the government, without obtaining permission of the owner of the patent by contract, license or waiver.  lawsuit has been filed.

Hughes Electronics Corporation, parent of Hughes Aircraft, filed the motion Friday with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, a Supreme Court ruling that sent the Hughes patent case back to the Court of Appeals for review did not set aside a $114 million judgement against the U.S. Government as reported in some media accounts. The judgement of liability and the $114 million damages award are still in full force and the burden of proof to overturn the judgement is on the U.S. Government

The Supreme Court on April 21 ordered the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reconsider its earlier decision upholding the judgement in Hughes Aircraft Company v. United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Warner-Jenkinson v. Hilton-Davis case. Having the Court of Appeals reconsider the matter does not vacate To annul, set aside, or render void; to surrender possession or occupancy.

The term vacate has two common usages in the law. With respect to real property, to vacate the premises means to give up possession of the property and leave the area totally devoid of contents.
 the award and the court's action was not unusual; three other patent cases were remanded for further consideration in light of Warner-Jenkinson.

The question now before the Federal Circuit is whether the Warner-Jenkinson decision on the patent law doctrine of equivalents The doctrine of equivalents is a legal rule in most of the world's patent systems that allows a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement even though the infringing device or process does not fall within the literal scope of a patent claim, but nevertheless is equivalent  has any effect on its 1995 re-affirmation of its 1983 liability judgement, which remains the law of the case pending the court's consideration. In its motion, Hughes argues that Warner-Jenkinson does not in any material respect alter the doctrine of equivalents.

Under the doctrine of equivalents, a patent owner can prove infringement by a product that, although not identical to the invention claimed in the patent, contains elements that are equivalent to the elements of the invention claimed in the patent.

The court ruling is the most recent development in a long standing and complex intellectual property infringement struggle that started in April 1960 when Hughes applied for a patent on a pioneering communications satellite communications satellite  artificial satellite that functions as part of a global radio-communications network. Echo 1, the first communications satellite, launched in 1960, was an instrumented inflatable sphere that passively reflected radio signals back to  attitude control system invented by scientist Donald Williams Donald Williams may refer to:
  • Donald Williams (politician) (1919–1990), British Conservative Party politician.
  • Donald E. Williams (born 1942), former NASA astronaut
  • Donald Williams (basketball) (born 1973), American professional basketball player
 a year earlier.

The U.S. Patent Office in 1966 allowed Williams' claim, which was challenged by the U.S. Government. After several years in court, a U.S. patent was issued to Hughes in 1973. Hughes that year filed suit against the Government, charging the Government used the patented invention without authority and seeking reasonable compensation.

The invention was used on every geosynchronous Aligned with the earth's rotational speed. Refers to satellites that travel at the same speed as the earth, but may not always be at the same distance from the earth. See geostationary.  orbit satellite from 1963 through 1974, and on every satellite from 1963 until 1982 that used a solid fuel motor in its transfer to geosynchronous orbit.

After another decade of litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1983 ruled that the Williams patent was valid and that both real-time and store-and-execute spacecraft infringed.

The case was returned for an accounting trial to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which ruled that 81 spacecraft out of more than 100 contested, infringed the Williams patent. The court in 1994 ordered the U.S. Government to pay Hughes $114 million for its infringement over a span of two decades.

In 1994, after Hughes appealed the accounting trial court's damages determination to the Federal Circuit, the Government sought to re-open the 1983 liability judgement on the ground that an intervening change in the patent law doctrine of equivalents had rendered that judgement invalid. In 1995, the Court of Appeals rejected the Government's argument and the Government appealed to the Supreme Court.

After that decision, and while the Government's petition to review the case was pending, the Supreme Court decided another case, Warner-Jenkinson v. Hilton-Davis, in which the Court reaffirmed the doctrine of equivalents in patent cases and specified how that doctrine should be applied in a legal analysis of patent infringement.

CONTACT: Hughes Electronics Corporation

Richard Dore Richard Dore (1749-1800) was an attorney, deputy judge advocate and secretary to the governor of colony of New South Wales, Australia in the late 18th century. He was the second person to hold office as deputy judge advocate, a position akin to the position of chief justice in the , 310/568-6324
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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Correction Notice
Date:Jun 2, 1997
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