Prodigy to fight BT's ‘shameless’ hyperlinks patent lawsuit

Issues rallying call for others to stand against monster telco

Prodigy Communications Corp has reacted angrily to BT's hypertext links lawsuit branding it "blatant and shameless".

One of the US' biggest ISPs, Prodigy has broken its silence and claims BT's patent of hypertext links is "groundless".

It intends to fight its case and expects other companies to band together to take on BT.

If they don't, warns Prodigy, the consequence for everyone involved with the Net could be dire.

In a statement issued by the company, Dan Iannotti, legal counsel for Prodigy, said: "This week's lawsuit filed by British Telecommunications against Prodigy Communications threatens how consumers connect to and maneuver on the Internet.

"This lawsuit is a blatant and shameless attempt by BT to capitalize on the initiative and success of Prodigy and other pioneers of the Internet.

"BT's groundless claims have the dangerous potential of stifling those who are truly innovative in this field.

"Given that Prodigy was the first commercial Internet service provider in the United States, it is no surprise that British Telecommunications would single us out for this lawsuit.

"Prodigy intends to vigorously defend this lawsuit and protect the Internet experience that consumers enjoy today.

"We expect our fellow Internet service providers and other companies using the Internet to join us in this challenge."

BT claims its owns the patent to hypertext links - the gizmos that knit the Web together - and wants its cut of the royalties. On Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against Prodigy as part of a test case.

It could take years before this matter is resolved. ®

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BT's Patent number 4,873,662

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