University of Minnesota Files Lawsuit Against Major Wireless Providers


A lawsuit from the University of Minnesota is headed towards the four major wireless providers in the United States. The university is stating that they have been improperly using technology that is under many university patents.

A formal complaint filed with the United States Court in Minnesota, states that T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon are being sued for what the University of Minnesota is calling “fair royalty” as compensation. The complaint also claims that all four major cellular carriers are under fire for the “unlicensed use of technology” and there is a request for a jury trial to take place.

The technology that the University of Minnesota is claiming unlawful use of was developed by a team led by Georgio Giannakis, the head of the Digital Technology Center. The center performs a great deal of research with the intent of developing signal processing, statistical learning in network, science and communication systems. The research that the Digital Technology Center performs led them to give themselves the moniker “SPiNCOM.”

Giannakis and his team had 22 patents issued to them by the U.S. Patent Office between 2005 and 2011. The complaint is said to involve at least five of those patents.

The University of Minnesota president, Eric Kaler said in a statement, “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.”

The four companies involved in the lawsuit have yet to issue public statements as of yet.

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