In one of the more interesting legal battles, the University of Minnesota is taking AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile to court over patent infringement. The carriers are accused of improving their 4G wireless data service using technology that was originally developed by a university professor.
While the major carriers have remained silent on the issue, the university has voiced their concern. The University of Minnesota invested almost $40 million to help professor Georgio Giannakis and his colleagues. These funds were focused on research, license royalties, and commercialization.
“Every day, our faculty is developing life-changing inventions and cures for the common good; that is what a great research university does. We must vigorously protect our faculty, those discoveries and the overall interests of our university.” said Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota.
Ultimately, they feel the contributions that were done by the school to improve network dependability and performance should be fairly reciprocated. They are defending a total of 5 wireless communication patents that were infringed with.
While Verizon and AT&T have the largest presence in Minnesota, all four of the carriers offer LTE in Minneapolis-St.Paul. If decision is made against them, this lawsuit will likely hurt all of these carriers as 4G LTE has played a crucial role to their business.
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