DISH, T-Mobile Sued for Infringement of Different Network Connection Patents

On Wednesday plaintiff Bunker IP LLC filed complaints in the Northern District of Illinois against DISH Wireless LLC and T-Mobile USA, Inc., respectively, alleging that the defendants infringed the patents-in-suit in their respective lawsuit relating to cellular network mode switching.

The patents-in-suit in both suits are United States Patent Nos. 7,181,237 (the ’237 patent), entitled “Control of a Multi-Mode, Multi-Band Telephone via a Single Hardware and Software Man Machine Interface” and 8,843,641 (the ’641 patent), entitled “Plug-In Connector System for Protected Establishment of a Network Connection.”

The plaintiff stated that the ’237 patent generally relates to “multimode, multi-band mobile telephone system, including those controlled via a single hardware and software man machine interface.” DISH allegedly infringed at least claims 1, 3, 7, and 9 of the ’237 patent through the Coolpad Legacy SR and the Wiko Ride 2, mobile phones which are offered through Boost Mobile, a company that is owned by DISH. The phones are referred to as the Accused Instrumentalities by the complaint.

The plaintiff claimed that these devices’ operating systems can switch between various modes, such as cellular or Wi-Fi modes “(b)y utilizing hardware, software, or both, the Accused Instrumentality’s operating system routes communication information (sending/receiving communication information) to one of the cellular network mode or Wi-Fi network mode.” These different modes purportedly support and utilize different air interface standards, such as an LTE interface or and “IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n interface” supported by their respective protocol stacks, which are in turn supported by the Accused Instrumentality’s processor. Additionally, the plaintiff averred that the Accused Instrumentality also has a user interface, such as a touch screen, for “communicating information and commands.”

The plaintiff alleged that the Accused Instrumentality also has a bridge between the first and second protocol stack (e.g. LTE protocol stack and IEEE 802.11 protocol stack) to “enable communication between both stacks,” namely, LTE and Wi-Fi to allow switching between cellular and Wi-Fi calling modes. Furthermore, Bunker IP claimed that the Accused Instrumentality can also use hotspot tethering to have communication between the two modes, so that “data sent/received by cellular can be passed to tethered devices connected via Wi-Fi.”

Meanwhile, T-Mobile purportedly infringed through the Revvl 4 phone; the allegations against T-Mobile are similar to the allegations brought against DISH Wireless.

Bunker IP has sought a declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, an injunction, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief. Bunker IP is represented by Direction IP Law.