April 17, 2021


Advances in world technology

AT&T is sued for $1.35 billion in excess of technological know-how to synchronize smart units

FILE Image: The AT&T brand is photographs on a developing in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake//File Picture

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Inc was sued on Tuesday for at minimum $1.35 billion by a Seattle corporation that accused the telecommunications large of stealing its patented “twinning” know-how, which allows intelligent devices this sort of as watches and tablets react to calls put to a one phone number.

Network Apps LLC mentioned AT&T abandoned joint advancement and licensing agreements for its technology in 2014 right after recognizing it would owe a “fortune” in royalties because the market for smart products was exploding, only to then incorporate the know-how a 12 months afterwards in its possess merchandise, NumberSync.

According to a grievance filed in Manhattan federal court docket, NumberSync works by using the “same idea and architecture” with only “cosmetic alterations,” and its purported “inventors” had been the same AT&T personnel who experienced labored with the plaintiffs.

Network Applications, which was at the time known as Mya Range, explained Dallas-dependent AT&T has not compensated required royalties due to the fact Oct 2015.

It is searching for at the very least $450 million of damages, which it desires tripled to mirror AT&T’s alleged “willful and egregious infringement,” as well as royalties for any future infringements.

AT&T explained it will critique the lawsuit and respond in court.

Community Apps’ founders, John Wantz and Kyle Schei, in a joint assertion stated “AT&T’s determination to steal our technology” has compelled them to scale back operations drastically.

“Our know-how is an eloquent alternative for a crucial challenge at a critical time in the market,” they additional.

In accordance to AT&T’s website, NumberSync allows buyers make and get phone calls on smartwatches, tablets, personal computers andcompatible Alexa-enabled equipment without getting to down load appsor engage in “call-forwarding acrobatics.” The case is Network Apps LLC et al v AT&T Inc et al, U.S.District Courtroom, Southern District of New York, No. 21-00718.

Reporting by Sheila Dang and Jonathan Stempel in New York Modifying by Sonya Hepinstall