updated 03:30 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2012
Verizon, with agreement in place, left out
Controversial firm Intellectual Ventures has sued three of the major US wireless carriers for patent infringement. The company has filed lawsuits against AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, alleging the service providers have improperly used IV's technology related to wireless networks. Verizon has a licensing agreement in place with IV that wasn't named and exempted it from being targeted.
In its latest suit, filed today, IV claims that AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, either individually or by virtue of their interoperability agreements, had used its technology to exchange multimedia messages between the carriers' customers using a technique they supposedly didn't have rights to use.
IV is one of the largest patent holders in the country. Although some of its intellectual property is internally developed, most of its holdings were acquired. IV's primary source of income is derived not from actual products but from licensing agreements with companies who would rather pay royalties than engage in prolonged and often costly legal battles, or from settlement of lawsuits that IV files.
Previously, IV has either sued or reached licensing agreements with mobile phone vendors including Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. [via Reuters]