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UPDATE High Court Finds BT Infringes on ASSIA DSL Management Patent

Tuesday, Dec 3rd, 2013 (1:44 pm) - Score 880

The High Court of Justice in London has ruled that BT infringes upon one of ASSIA’s patents for DSL management technologies, which the telecoms operator allegedly uses as part of their national FTTC (VDSL) based Next Generation Access (NGA) network deployment.

According to Sys-Con, the court ruled that BT infringed upon one of Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment Inc.’s patents. Apparently the patent in question describes a method for dynamic monitoring and automatic optimization of copper based Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband networks.

Marc Goldburg, ASSIA CTO, said:

As a software developer, ASSIA’s principal business is to deliver our award-winning products and services to customers. We attempted for years to work with BT in this spirit. When it became clear that BT was using ASSIA’s technology without a license and was not willing to license ASSIA’s technology or products, it became necessary to bring this patent infringement claim.”

The High Court will now have to set a schedule for the damages caused by BT’s infringement, which could result in the operator having to pay out an as yet unknown sum of money to ASSIA. On the other hand BT might seek permission to appeal the case and this could drag proceedings out for a lot longer and or possibly change the final ruling.

A second related patent was also involved in the case but the court appears not to have ruled against BT on that one. We have asked BT to comment and are awaiting a reply.

UPDATE 3:31pm

The official reaction is as follows.

A BT Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

BT has been defending a claim brought by ASSIA since November 2011. They had asserted three patents against BT but during the proceedings, they had to narrow their allegations and also withdraw the action relating to one of their three patents entirely.

The High Court has found that BT did not infringe one of the remaining patents and that only a minor part of one network infringed the other. Although BT is disappointed with that finding and considers it has a good case on appeal, BT can make minor changes to its programming to avoid the issue entirely. Accordingly, the decision will have no material effect on the operation of BT’s networks.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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