AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile Sued by Patent House

Intellectual Venture says the three wireless operators infringed on 12 of its network-related patents

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

February 16, 2012

1 Min Read
AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile Sued by Patent House

Patent powerhouse Intellectual Ventures Management LLC (IV) is using its intellectual property holdings to go after AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. , claiming the U.S. wireless operators infringed on 12 network-related patents.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, alleges that the three carriers infringed on patents related to features such as call completion when roaming on other networks, data transmission and message prioritization. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Verizon Wireless was spared, because it is already a licensee of IV.

Why this matters
While handset makers and operating systems have been the more high-profile subjects of recent IP lawsuits, the wireless operators aren't immune to the courtroom. IV, run by former Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has come under fire for its practice of hoarding patents (it has more than 35,000) and using them to extract licensing fees from technology companies. But it's also been quite successful at doing so.

The firm tells AllThingsD that it would prefer to work out a business relationship with the three wireless operators, but the companies have so far been unresponsive, increasing the likelihood of a courtroom showdown.

For more
Read up on patent litigation in the wireless industry.

  • Euronews: EC Probes Samsung on Patents

  • ZTE, Ericsson End Patent Dispute

  • Euronews: NSN Sued in 4G Patent Case

  • Intellectual Property Boom

  • ITC Makes a Moto/Microsoft Ruling

  • Making Sense of the Handset Patent Plays

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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