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AT&T owes $166 mln for infringing mobile-network patents

AT&T Mobility LLC must pay $166.3 million in damages for violating Finesse Wireless LLC’s patent rights with its 4G/LTE and 5G wireless networks, a jury in East Texas federal court said Friday.

The jury found that AT&T’s networks that use Nokia-made equipment in cell towers infringe two patents related to reducing wireless-signal interference owned by Finesse.

Nokia and AT&T said in a joint statement they disagreed with the verdict and are considering an appeal. Finesse’s lead attorney Joe Grinstein of Susman Godfrey said in a statement that the firm was pleased with the verdict.

Finesse, a Park City, Utah-based patent-holding company for inventor Francis Smith, sued AT&T in 2021 for infringing the patents. Nokia, which designed and made base stations used with AT&T’s networks, intervened in the case later that year.

Finesse’s lawsuit said AT&T’s wireless networks incorporate its patented technology for reducing interference from other signals that can lead to dropped calls, lower voice quality, and slower data delivery.

AT&T and Nokia denied the allegations. The jury on Friday rejected their argument that the patents are invalid.

Finesse settled related disputes with Ericsson Inc and Verizon Wireless last year.

The case is Finesse Wireless LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:21-cv-00316. Reuters

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