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T-Mobile, U.S. Cell, Virgin, Helio hit with lawsuit

It seems you always have to watch your back as a wireless carrier. You never know when someone’s going to hit you with a patent infringement lawsuit. The latest one involves four companies that we feature here on the Prepaid Reviews blog: T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Virgin Mobile, and Helio. The suit is in regards to a wireless image-messaging technology that is reportedly patented by Daniel Henderson of Intellect Wireless.

Now, this isn’t a case where Henderson created Intellect Wireless to buy patents and try to wring money out of the carriers. Rather, he claims that he invented the patented technology.

The case claims the carriers are in violation of three Henderson patents: “Picture Phone with Caller ID,” and two separate ones, both titled “Method and Apparatus for Improved Paging and Receiver System.” These were issued in 2007.

See, if Intellect Wireless was a firm that bought patents with the implicit intent of lawsuit, I could talk about the need to reform patent law. But if these are original inventions by Henderson, he has a case.

This might seem like a relatively small story, but I’d really like to see how it plays out. The patents were issued in 2007, so Henderson is saying that these four carriers changed their image-messaging technology sometime during the year, after he had filed the patents.

Most likely, though, we’ll see an out-of-court settlement.

[RCR Wireless News]