Ina Fried

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Patent Collector Intellectual Ventures Sues AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile for Infringement

Intellectual Ventures, a company known for its huge collection of patents, is suing three of the four major U.S. cellular carriers for infringing on its technology.

The Seattle company sued Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, alleging infringement of more than a dozen patents.

The suit, filed Thursday in Delaware District Court, seeks unspecified damages.

“The carriers have wireless communication networks that are vast and are integrated,” said Melissa Finocchio, chief litigation counsel for Intellectual Ventures, in an interview. “We have many patents that cover various aspects of that telecommunications system.”

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile representatives declined to comment.

The fourth U.S. carrier, Verizon Wireless, is not named in the suit and is a licensee of Intellectual Ventures’ technology, Finocchio said.

Finocchio said that the company went to court after several months of discussions failed to lead to a business deal.

“Our first and strongest preference is to have a business relationship with the companies that are using technology covered by our intellectual property,” she said.

This is not the first time that IV has gone to court. In December 2010, it sued memory-chip makers Elpida and Hynix, and also has separate pending actions against several programmable chipmakers and with a number of security software makers.

The company, led by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, has also sued Motorola Mobility.


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