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BT and ASSIA Settle Dispute Over FTTC Broadband Linked Patents

Wednesday, Jul 29th, 2015 (4:58 pm) - Score 1,608

Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that BT’s Next Generation Access (NGA) Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / BTInfinity) superfast broadband technology had infringed upon parts of two patents owned by California-based ISP ASSIA, which related to the field of Dynamic Spectrum Management.

At the time ASSIA said (here) that the judgment would probably be “significant in terms of its practical and financial impact“, although a spokesperson for BTOpenreach disagreed and told ISPreview.co.uk that they were “disappointed with [the] ruling” but had made “minor changes to our programming which means these two decisions will have no material effect on the operation of our networks” (cost for past infringement may be another matter).

The court later granted a final injunction and that resulted in BT tweaking its NGA Dynamic Line Management (DLM) system, which left ASSIA to proceed with a claim for damages that they suggested could amount to “many millions of pounds” (not forgetting legal costs). The good news is that this case has now been settled.

Apparently the settlement provides that the parties will “cross-license portions of their patent portfolios“. In addition, the parties will each stipulate to the dismissal of all pending matters in the UK High Court and associated appeals, termination of several proceedings in the European Patent Office in which the parties had challenged the validity of each other’s patents, and dismissal of patent infringement litigation brought by BT against ASSIA in the United States.

ASSIA Chairman and CEO, John M. Cioffi, said:

We are pleased that we have been able to resolve the issues with BT.”

BT’s MD of Service Strategy & Operations, Mike Galvin, added:

Both BT and ASSIA are pleased to end this long running dispute to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.”

The press release is light on detail and comment, although it looks as if both sides found a semi-acceptable solution. ASSIA currently holds over 250 issued patents and another 250 applications in process in the fields of broadband optimization – including Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) Levels 1 and 2, vectoring (DSM Level 3), phantom mode DSL, DSL bonding, and other complementary technologies.

By comparison BT is said to have a worldwide portfolio of more than 4,500 patents and applications around the world in a variety of technologies – including Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) and related technologies.

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Mark-Jackson
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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