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A Texas jury has found in favor of EchoStar Communications Corp. in a patent infringement case brought against it by Forgent Networks Inc. on the grounds that the patent in question is invalid. Forgent had requested over $200 million in damages as well as an injunction against sales of products that infringed the patent. Forgent, a manufacturer of scheduling software that also licenses intellectual property, is settling with DirecTV, another of the 15 defendants in the case. According to the settlement agreement, which was effective May 13, DirecTV will pay Forgent $8 million and Forgent will grant DirecTV a patent license. On April 26, Forgent settled with nine other defendants for a total sum of $20 million. "While others had settled, we always believed Forgent's patent was invalid, and we appreciate the efforts of Judge Davis and of the jury vindicating our position," said EchoStar's general counsel. DISH Quote and Chart 22 05 2007Forgent's shares gained 2.3% to $1.32.

Sources: Press release, Reuters, Forbes, MarketWatch
Commentary: Supreme Court Attacks Patent Licensing CompaniesSupreme Court Sides with Innovators Over Patent HoldersDirectTV, EchoStar Enjoy Free Cash Flow Growth
Stocks/ETFs to watch: EchoStar Communications Corp. (DISH). Competitors: Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), WebEx Communications Inc. (WEBX). ETFs: PowerShares Aerospace & Defense (PPA), PowerShares Dynamic Telecom & Wireless (PTE)
Conference call transcripts: EchoStar Q4 2006, DirecTV Q1 2007

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Source: EchoStar Defeats Forgent's Patent Suit