Modern telecommunications systems are incredibly sophisticated, relying upon millions of lines of software to make them function. Nigel Jones has a significant background in telecommunications and has had several patents awarded to him in this area. He’s been called upon to assist in more than a dozen cases alleging patent infringement in the 4G wireless space. As part of these cases he has examined the source code of the biggest names in the industry including Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, Ericsson, and Alcatel Lucent.
Cell & Network Selection LLC v. AT&T et al.
Cell & Network Selection (CNS) filed patent infringement lawsuits against most of the giants of the LTE industry, alleging that the idle mode handover procedure used in LTE infringed upon US patent 6,195,551. Following an adverse Markman hearing, CNS turned to Nigel Jones to see if a case could still be made within the constraints imposed by the court’s claim construction.
After an extensive review of the relevant source code from Qualcomm, Mr. Jones submitted an 86-page report describing exactly how defendants were practicing idle mode handover. In particular, the report showed that despite defendants’ claim to the contrary, they were indeed performing a critical step in the alleged claims.
Shortly after depositions were completed, CNS entered into an agreement with RPX Corporation which effectively settled the litigation.
WNET v. Aereo
Aereo was a startup company that attempted to exploit the Second Circuit’s Cablevision decision regarding copyright infringement. Aero used a massive array of individual antennas to broadcast content over the internet to paying subscribers. As such Aereo represented a significant threat to the business model of the major broadcasters. The threat was seen as so severe that News Corp threatened to take Fox off the air if Aereo was permitted to continue operation. With so much at stake, Fox turned to Nigel Jones to gain a complete understanding of Aereo’s technology—including how it worked, its limitations, and its performance.
Following a court order, Mr. Jones was provided with an exemplar of Aereo’s antenna board and source code. He proceeded to thoroughly analyze the system and quickly created a test environment to allow accurate performance measurements to be taken. Together with the plaintiffs’ antenna expert, Nigel Jones spent two days at an anechoic chamber evaluating the performance of Aereo’s antenna technology, followed by multiple site visits where in situ testing was performed. This test data was at the heart of the plaintiff’s technical case against Aereo. Before the technical arguments could be heard, the case was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court who, in a very closely watched 6-3 decision, ruled that Aereo was publicly performing the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works. Aereo ceased operations shortly afterwards and settled all remaining claims.
Cellular Communications Equipment, LLC v. Apple
CCE sued Apple for patent infringement in 2014, alleging that Apple was infringing various patents related to mobile telecommunications. The case went to trial in September 2016 in the Eastern District of Texas. Nigel Jones testified for CCE and was charged with explaining to the jury the underlying technology and also how Apple’s source code performed the key features at issue in the case. Ultimately Apple’s non-infringement defense centered on the proper way to interpret a mere two lines of code. The jury returned a running royalty verdict of $22.1m through March 2016 indicating that they agreed with Mr. Jones’s view of the code and disagreed with Apple’s position.