The plaintiff, DNT, LLC, asserted that its technology patent on an improved auto dialer had been infringed by several wireless carriers including Sprint-Nextel, Verizon Wireless, AllTel Communications, T-Mobile, Novatel Wireless, and Procopio client U.S. Cellular Corp. At issue was the wireless carriers’ sale of wireless modem cards used to access the internet in conjunction with subscriber laptops. U.S. Cellular and others disputed the charges, noting that DNT’s patent did not mention or address cellular communications or modems, did not explain how to make the wireless modem cards claimed to be covered by the patent and failed to fully describe the full scope of the claimed invention with respect to wireless communications. Just prior to the trial the Court granted partial judgment for the defendant finding that wireless modems using a USB connection did not infringe the plaintiff’s patent. Following a two week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict, declaring that the asserted patent claims were not infringed and were invalid due to 1) obviousness, 2) failure to meet the written description requirement and 3) failure to meet the “enablement” requirement found in the patent statutes.
The Procopio team representing U.S. Cellular was led by partners Anthony J. Dain and Victor M. Felix. “Because the plaintiffs were seeking more than $170 million and a potential injunction precluding the sale of wireless modem devices, this was a significant victory for consumers who rely on this technology,” said Mr. Dain.
Mr. Dain and Mr. Felix were ably assisted by attorneys Lisel Ferguson and Noel Gillespie as well as staff members Jacky Klimek, Liz Villarama, Fua Akeli, Michele Fuger, and Rhoda Daniels.