Intellectual Ventures targets AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile on patents

Patent-holding firm says its goal is to support innovation by protecting small inventors against litigious corporations, but to many, it's the litigious corporation stifling innovation.

Intellectual Ventures today filed a patent infringement complaint against three of largest cellular providers in the U.S.

The complaint, which targets AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, cites violations to patent No. 5,790,793, the nebulously titled "Method and system to create, transmit, receive and process information, including an address to further information," in addition other equally wide-armed patents.

The chief litigation counsel for Intellectual Ventures, Melissa Finocchio stated:

The wireless communications networks of AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile use a variety of important technologies covered by Intellectual Ventures' patents. We previously attempted to discuss licensing options with each of these companies, but none were responsive. We filed a complaint for infringement today in the U.S. District Court of Delaware to get these three companies on a course toward compensating IV for the value of the inventions they use in delivering their wireless services.

In October, Intellectual Ventures sued Motorola Mobility over several patents, including one for a "file transfer system," one that relates to an "illumination device and image projection apparatus comprising the device," and another that describes a "portable computer, communication and entertainment device with central processor carried in a detachable handset."

The company, founded by Nathan Myhrvold , a former chief technology officer at Microsoft, has taken heat over its impetus toward filing lawsuits based on the patents it has amassed; critics have branded it a "patent troll." Myhrvold, not surprisingly, sees things differently .

We'll keep an eye on this one as it develops.

About the author

Blake Robinson got his start in tech as a semi-professional gamer. He was the first Managing Editor of CrunchGear, the former gadgets and electronics arm of TechCrunch. His writings on new and emerging technologies have been featured in ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, TechCrunch, Silicon Alley Insider, paidContent, Uncrate, Conde Nast and Ziff Davis. Blake splits his time between San Francisco and New York.


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