University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota files lawsuits against Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile

Suit alleges patent infringement of technology relating to 4G LTE service

November 5, 2014

The University of Minnesota today filed complaints against the four largest wireless service providers in the United States because of their infringement of several University patents.

The complaints, filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, assert that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are using patented technology developed by a University professor that improves the speed and reliability of 4G LTE service without a license. The University seeks a fair royalty from the companies for their unlicensed use of the technology and asks for a jury trial.

“Every day, our faculty is developing life-changing inventions and cures for the common good; that is what a great research university does,” said University President Eric Kaler. “We must vigorously protect our faculty, those discoveries and the overall interests of our University.”

The complaint includes five patents that cover wireless communications innovations developed by U of M Professor Georgios Giannakis, Ph.D., and his co-inventors. Giannakis’ work improves network reliability and speed. These innovations are important aspects of the 4G LTE service that all four companies use and promote to their millions of customers nationwide.

Giannakis holds an endowed chair in wireless communications, is the director of the University’s Digital Technology Center, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering and an internationally recognized expert in signal processing, communications and networking. Giannakis has received millions of dollars in public-sponsored research funding, including from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army, which have supported cutting-edge research in wireless communications and related fields at the University.

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