AT&T, T-Mobile Accused of Using University Tech Without Permission

Trespass Tuesday


by: Dominion Harbor Staff | September 5, 2017

According to federal complaints, wireless carriers AT&T and T-Mobile based its Wi-Fi calling on stolen technology first created by Dr. Tzi-cker Chiueh, who currently serves as head of ITRI’s Information and Communications Labs. While a research professor in the computer science department at SUNY Stony Brook, Dr. Chiueh developed a vertical handoff method allowing applications to move seamlessly between different layers of wireless networks.

For example, the invention supports switching between a wireless local area network (WLAN) and a wireless wide-area network (WWAN). Dr. Chiueh continues his research into wireless networks today, leading ITRI’s research efforts into “5G wireless communication, smart mobile devices, advanced microchip and system design, cloud computing and application services, and smart networks,” earning him the 2016 IEEE INFOCOM Test of Time Paper Award.

Intellectual trespass by the largest mobile network operators in the world renders commercialization efforts impossible, as research and educational institutions simply lack the resources to compete with massive entities like AT&T. Even worse, public universities like SUNY utilize public funding to create technology and property rights, only to be deprived of value from theft by massive incumbent organizations. AT&T and T-Mobile are, in effect, stealing directly from the public.

SUNY’s asset finds itself being enforced by Vertical Connection Technologies, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company.  According to public records, VCT’s members are the founders of Empire IP, an experienced IP licensing middleman whose website boasts experience licensing patents in over two dozen technology verticals. Critics argue that middleman-driven licensing efforts fail to ultimately serve the interests of inventors themselves, with most of the proceeds going to the middlemen themselves. However, VCT and Empire undertake substantial legal and economic risk by taking responsibility for the stewardship of the intellectual property licensing effort. In addition, these licensing efforts promise to return value back to the taxpayers that support public educational institutions like SUNY.

The lawsuits are Vertical Connection Technologies, LLC v. AT&T Corporation, et al and Vertical Connection Technologies, LLC v. T-Mobile US, INC., et al, filed August 23, 2017.


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