WiFi Patent Suit Disconnected

Cisco Systems, Sprint Spectrum, HTC, U.S. Cellular and Motorola won dismissal of a wireless technology patent infringement suit Tuesday when a federal judge ruled the companies just don’t do what the suit alleged.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said the companies were accused by EON Corp IP Holdings of infringing a patent that allows mobile devices to access different communications networks.  The suit alleged the five firms were transferring subscribers through a modem connection when a cellular connection was unavailable.

“But the accused networks do not do that,” Tigar wrote. “In the accused networks, cellular phones transfer to a modem-based Wi-Fi connection whenever there is a Wi-Fi connection, regardless of whether there is or is not an available cellular connection,” he said.

EON originally sued 16 defendants in 2010 in the Eastern District of Texas but the suits were transferred to Northern California in 2012 with the agreement of both sides.

The lawsuit has narrowed to just five firms.

The original suit says the 1997 patent accused the firms of selling modems and associated data systems that enable mobile devices to switch between communication paths having radio access network components or Wi-Fi network components.

Tigar said the accused transferring is not conditioned on the unavailability of networks and thus defendants’ actions fall outside the scope of EON’s claims.

“EON has provided no admissible evidence to preclude summary judgment,” the judge wrote.

Case: EON Corp IP Holdings v. Cisco Systems, No. 12-cv-1011JST

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