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Steelhead Licensing LLC以行動通訊handover技術專利提起多起侵權告訴

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科技產業資訊室 (iKnow) - SYL 發表於 2013年1月24日

2013年1月4日,一家設立於美國德拉瓦州的專利授權公司Steelhead Licensing, LLC(下稱Steelhead),向美國德拉瓦州聯邦地院提起15起專利侵權告訴,分別控告10家手機製造商,包括宏達電(HTC)、Apple、Sony、LG、Research In Motion、Motorola等所製造銷售的智慧型手機產品,以及5家在美國提供無線通訊服務之電信業者,如AT & T、T-Mobile(Deutsche Telekom)、MetroPCS等所提供販售的無線通訊設備產品、如熱點(hotspot)等,侵犯其所擁有、在行動通訊系統中進行換手(handover)之技術專利權利。

而後在2013年1月11日,Steelhead又向相同法院提起4起告訴,分別控告我國廠商宏碁(Acer)、華碩(ASUSTeK),以及戴爾(Dell)、Amazon.com等所製造銷售之具備無線通訊功能的平板電腦產品,侵犯同樣專利權利。在2013年1月14日,Steelhead向波多黎各聯邦地院提起2起專利侵權告訴,控告在波多黎各販售手機產品之Claro de Puerto Rico, Inc.與Infosonics Corporation兩家公司,侵犯其專利權利。

Steelhead在前述訴訟案件中主張權利之主要系爭專利為美國專利編號US 5,491,834,名稱為「移動式無線電通訊換手啟動之認定(Mobile radio handover initiation determination)」,於1996年2月13日核發,發明人為Si Tak S. Chia,原始權利人為英國電信(British Telecommunications public limited company, BT)。

被控侵權之行動通訊產品,是可依據UMTS、CDMA、LTE等通訊技術標準來進行無線通訊,而Steelhead在其訴狀中聲稱,被控侵權產品依據前述技術標準進行通訊,便侵犯了系爭專利權利。

系爭專利是否為技術標準核心專利(standard essential patent)、是否受到應以公平、合理與不歧視(fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, FRAND)條件進行授權之承諾所拘束等問題,尚待訴訟後續進行過程中的舉證來予以釐清,但即便其有受到FRAND授權條件之拘束、而可能在以請求核發禁制令做為侵權救濟上會受到限制,卻可能實際上不具太大意義,因為系爭專利即將過期(其申請日是1993年8月27日),所以屆時Steelhead亦無法基於系爭專利侵權來申請禁制令,而只能就過去侵權行為請求損害賠償。

系爭專利原始權利人是英國電信,而系爭專利在2012年12月被移轉至一家名為FTE Exchange之公司,並在2013年初再度移轉給Steelhead。英國電信一度被懷疑是這一系列專利侵權告訴之背後黑手,因為其先前亦曾透過專利授權公司Suffolk Technologies, LLC,向AOL與Google提起專利侵權告訴,為其專利主張權利(案號為1:12-cv-00625-TSE-IDD),但英國電信已發出聲明,表示系爭專利權利已被移轉出去,而其與Steelhead並無任何關係。(1142字;表1)

表一、請求項解析

US 5,491,834 請求項1
1. A handover determination system for a mobile radio network including a plurality of cells, each cell having associated with it a base station for supporting communications with a mobile unit, the system comprising:
一項換手判定系統,其用於包括複數個受無線電波涵蓋之細胞、每個細胞具備用來支援與一行動裝置進行通訊之一基地台的移動無線電網路中,該系統包括
means (Fig.1 - 58) for monitoring a quality of a signal respectively transmitted between each of a plurality of candidate base stations and the mobile unit;
用於監控在複數候選基地台中個別基地台與前述行動裝置間所傳送訊號之品質的工具
means (Fig.1 - 62) for producing an indication of the rise or fall in the said quality as a function of time; and
用於產生顯示前述品質隨時間延續而提升或降低之指示的工具
control means (Fig.1 - 56) for initiating a handover from a serving base station, supporting communications with the mobile unit, to another base station, the initiation being based on the rise/fall as a function of time in the said quality of the signals associated with the plurality of candidate base stations being monitored;
用於啟動從一提供服務並支援與前述行動裝置進行通訊之基地台,換手至另一基地台的控制工具,前述啟動動作是依據與被監控之複數候選基地台相關之前述訊號品質、隨時間延續而提升或降低而來
said mobile unit including the means for monitoring and the means for producing, the mobile unit further comprising signalling means (Fig.1 - 72) for addressing the serving base station with an indication of the need for a handover to be initiated; and
前述行動裝置包括用於監控之工具與用於產生指示之工具,前述行動裝置進一步包括用於定址提供服務之基地台並附帶指出有啟動換手需求之指示的發信工具
said signalling means being arranged to address the serving base station with an indication of the level of priority of a handover and/or with an indication of the possibility of a handover contingent upon the proceeding results of monitoring the quality of the transmitted signal.
前述發信工具被配置來定址提供服務之基地台,其附帶一指出換手優先順序之指示、以及∕或附帶一指出依據監控被傳送訊號品質之處理結果而得出之換手可能性的指示
pclass_13_A040.gif

Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理,2013/01

表二、專利訴訟案件基本資料

Steelhead所提專利侵權告訴案件一覽

訴訟名稱 提告日期 原告 被告 案號 訴訟法院 系爭專利
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. HTC Corporation et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC HTC Corporation
HTC America Holdings Inc.
HTC America Inc.
HTC (B.V.I.) Corporation
Exedea Inc.
1:13-cv-00035-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. LG Electronics Inc. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC LG Electronics Inc.
LG Electronics USA, Inc.
LG Electronics Mobilecomm USA Inc.
1:13-cv-00036-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834;
US56,78,185
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Kyocera Corporation et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Kyocera Corporation
Kyocera Communications Inc.
Kyocera International Inc.
Kyocera America Inc.
1:13-cv-00037-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. MetroPCS Communications Inc. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC MetroPCS Communications Inc.
MetroPCS Wireless Inc.
MetroPCS Texas LLC
1:13-cv-00038-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. NEC Casio Mobile Communications Ltd. 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC NEC Casio Mobile Communications Ltd. 1:13-cv-00040-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Pantech Co. Ltd. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Pantech Co. Ltd.
Pantech Wireless Inc.
1:13-cv-00041-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Research In Motion Ltd. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Research In Motion Ltd.
Research In Motion Corporation
1:13-cv-00042-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corporation 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Sprint Nextel Corporation 1:13-cv-00043-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Sony Corporation et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Sony Corporation
Sony Mobile Communications AB
Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc.
1:13-cv-00044-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Deutsche Telekom AG et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Deutsche Telekom AG
T-Mobile Global Zwischenholding GmbH
T-Mobile Global Holding GmbH
T-Mobile USA Inc.
1:13-cv-00045-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Verizon Communications Inc. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Verizon Communications Inc.
Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless
1:13-cv-00046-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. ZTE Corporation et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC ZTE Corporation
ZTE (USA) Inc.
ZTE Solutions Inc.
1:13-cv-00047-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Apple Inc. 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Apple Inc. 1:13-cv-00033-LPS Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. AT&T Inc. et al 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC AT&T Inc.
AT&T Mobility LLC
1:13-cv-00034-LPS Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Motorola Mobility LLC, et al. 2013/1/4 Steelhead Licensing LLC Motorola Mobility LLC
Google Inc.
1:13-cv-00039-LPS District of Delaware US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Acer Inc. et al 2013/1/11 Steelhead Licensing LLC Acer Inc.
Acer America Corporation
1:13-cv-00076-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Asustek Computer Inc. 2013/1/11 Steelhead Licensing LLC Asustek Computer Inc. 1:13-cv-00078-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Amazon.com Inc. 2013/1/11 Steelhead Licensing LLC Amazon.com Inc. 1:13-cv-00077-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Dell Inc. 2013/1/11 Steelhead Licensing LLC Dell Inc. 1:13-cv-00079-UNA Delaware District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Claro de Puerto Rico, Inc. et al 2013/1/14 Steelhead Licensing LLC Claro de Puerto Rico, Inc.
Puerto Rico Telephone Company Inc.
Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico, Inc.
America Movil S.A.B. de C.V.
3:13-cv-01030-SEC Puerto Rico District Court US5,491,834
Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Infosonics Corporation 2013/1/14 Steelhead Licensing LLC Infosonics Corporation 3:13-cv-01031-GAG Puerto Rico District Court US5,491,834

Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理,2013/01

訴狀下載:download.gif Steelhead Licensing LLC v. Sony


 
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