NDS, DirecTV Reach Legal Ceasefire

Some lawsuits are settled in court, and sometimes the parties reach agreement on their own. And every now and then, the parent company of the party of the first part buys the party of the second part, transforming the conflict into an internal company matter. That could be the fate of a long-running tussle between sa
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Some lawsuits are settled in court, and sometimes the parties reach agreement on their own.

And every now and then, the parent company of the party of the first part buys the party of the second part, transforming the conflict into an internal company matter.

That could be the fate of a long-running tussle between satellite giant DirecTV and pay-TV force NDS that included charges of copyright infringement and the leaking of proprietary information to hacker-themed Web sites.

But the parent company of NDS, international media titan News Corp., expects to close on its purchase of 34 percent of DirecTV parent Hughes Electronics by year-end.

So NDS and DirecTV will go from opponents to collaborators, even agreeing "to discuss plans for future generations of conditional access viewing cards to be used by DirecTV," the companies said in a joint release.

The two companies had accused each other of leaking smart-card technology to hackers, and NDS had accused DirecTV of conspiring with a chip maker to create a cheap knock-off of an NDS card, infringing its patents.