Zombie BT mobile patent emerges in hands of troll
Scattergun fired at world+dog
A Delaware company called Steelhead Licensing has filed a world+dog lawsuit alleging infringement of a patent it acquired from BT.
The list of defendants here includes Apple, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, HTC, Kyocera, LG, NEC, Motorola, RIM, Sony and others.
Carriers are included in the target list because their personal hotspot offerings are alleged to infringe the patent.
US Patent 5,491,834, here, was filed in 1993 and issued in 1996. Entitled “mobile radio handover initiation determination”, it describes the use of characteristics such as signal strength or bit error rate to determine which base station would provide the best service to a mobile user.
The patent also covers monitoring rises and falls in signal quality to decide whether to hand a user off to another station. It covers both handoffs between macrocells and handoffs between macrocells and microcells.
Although the patent is still listed as being held by BT, Steelhead’s lawsuit asserts that the company owns “all rights of recovery” for the patent. BT has told Gigaom it has nothing to do with the lawsuit and doesn’t share any of Steelhead’s licensing income. ®
Hmm, I don't think BT come out of this squeaky clean. They sold a wide-ranging patent to a patent troll during its last year of validity for (one would assume) a lot of money. If you sell an assault rifle to a homicidal maniac then you can't distance yourself from his killing spree. Unless you use NRA logic.
Runs out this year... 20 years from initial filing in 1993. So, they're basically giving it a go before it runs out.
A mix tape of hair metal ballads for you
This tech was a big deal towards the end of the 1980 decade when analog cordless phones talked to your landline base station at tens of MHz and Radio Shack still had electronics. First cordless phones had a sliding frequency switch on the handset and base. Next they had a frequency hopping button on the handset. Finally they hopped frequencies themselves. No multiplexors, no QAM, no side bands, and no codecs; just simple 1980s analog processing. Good luck with the trolling.