Jury Awards Freedom Wireless $128 Million against Wireless Telephone Companies for Patent Infringement; Victory Comes after Three-Month Jury Trial over Prepaid Cellular Telephone Patents
BOSTON --(Business Wire)-- May 20, 2005 -- An eight-person federal court jury returned a unanimous verdict today finding five cellular telecommunications companies liable for patent infringement and awarding $128 million in damages against them. The plaintiff, Freedom Wireless, Inc., holds patents that cover the technology and processes used by the defendants to provide prepaid cellular telephone service. The defendants include Boston Communications Group, Inc. (BCGI), Cingular Wireless LLC, and AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., among others. According to industry analysts, prepaid cellular service is one of the fastest-growing segments of the market for wireless telephone service.
"This verdict sends a message to these defendants and any others who have been infringing these patents that Freedom Wireless will pursue its rights to the fullest," said Bill Price, lead trial lawyer for the plaintiff and chair of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP's trial practice.
In court, Price argued that Douglas Fougnies and Dan Harned, inventors of the Freedom Wireless patents, devised and patented a system for transparent pre-paid wireless service. This system allowed people shut out of the market because of poor credit to prepay their calls, not only helping more consumers to gain access to cell phone service, but also creating an expanded market for the carriers. When Freedom Wireless discovered that BCGI was using its patented process, it sued the company and the carriers for patent infringement. While all defendants denied the allegations, the jury found that the Freedom Wireless patents were valid and infringed. Several issues remain for the judge to decide. -0- *T Contact information for interviews: Bill Price - (818) 519 0570 Or call Anne Sage or Tracy Williams at (310) 396-2400 to arrange an interview *T
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Quinn Emanuel is a leading trial firm handling business litigation nationally and internationally. It has offices in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The firm gained attention last year when it won the largest business verdict in California for individual clients -- a $300 million verdict against German media conglomerate Bertelsmann BMG.