Adaptix Sues LightSquared, NSN

Friday 13th January turned out to be a very unlucky day for LightSquared . Not only did it receive a blow to its operational nether regions from nine U.S. government agencies, but the LTE wholesale hopeful, along with technology partner Nokia Networks (NSN), was sued by 4G patent specialist Adaptix Inc. (See Government Agencies Blast LightSquared.)

Adaptix, which owns a swathe of mobile technology patents -- including many related to Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) -- filed a patent infringement suit in the Texas Eastern District Court, citing five separate patents it claims have been used without a licensing agreement.

The patents in question relate to:

  • Multi-carrier communications with adaptive cluster configuration and switching (the '172 patent)
  • Channel allocation in broadband orthogonal frequency-division multiple access/space division multiple-access networks (the '808 patent)
  • Method and system for switching antenna and channel assignments in broadband wireless networks (the '851 patent)
  • Multi-carrier communications with group-based subcarrier allocation (the '283 patent)
  • Medium access control for orthogonal frequency-division multiple-access (OFDMA) cellular networks (the '315 patent).
The filing of the suit came as Adaptix was acquired for US$160 million by Acacia Research Corp.

Why this matters
This is yet another blow to LightSquared. It's not something the company can't fix, but it could do without this sort of distraction, as could NSN. (See 2011 Top Ten: NSN's Amazing Year.)

It's also another example of the growing willingness of intellectual property rights (IPR) specialists such as Adaptix and Acacia to initiate court proceedings against alleged infringers, a trend Light Reading believes will grow during 2012. (See Intellectual Property Boom, Sisvel Buys Nokia Patents, Openwave Puts Products Up for Sale and Ericsson Puts Focus on IPR Licensing.)

For more
The future is looking bleak for LightSquared.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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