T-Mobile USA sued over geolocation technology

More cases based on patents from Harris are anticipated, according to new owner

Patent company Guidance IP has filed a complaint against T-Mobile USA for allegedly infringing a patent related to cell phone geolocation.

The complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the residential jurisdiction for the headquarters of Harris Corporation, which originally owned the patent in question, according to North South Holdings, the parent of Guidance IP.

This suit claims infringement of a patent called "System and method for determining the geolocation of a transmitter", which, in this case, relates to the location of cell phones on T-Mobile's network, North South said in a statement Monday.

The geolocation patent is one of over 200 it acquired from Harris in 2012. The complaint against T-Mobile is the first based on them, but North South anticipates more, according to CEO Anthony Hayes.

T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment on the case.

North South was formed in November last year with the intent of acquiring patents and monetize them through sales, litigation or licensing. Recently it entered into an agreement to be acquired by Spherix, described as a scientific research company.

Mapping and geolocation continues to be a hot topic in the smartphone sector, as both vendors and mobile operators look to improve their offerings as competition heats up. Last week, Qualcomm signed a deal with Nokia and its Here Maps platform to improve indoor positioning and earlier this year Google acquired crowdsourced mapping app developer Waze in a bid to add more real-time navigation tools to its own Maps software.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Tags telecommunicationconsumer electronicsCarriersintellectual propertysmartphonespatentlegalT-Mobile USA

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