Thursday, December 19, 2013

Callertone Settles Suit against Sprint and Others over Ringback Tone Patents

Case Filed: Oct 28, 2011

Case Closed: Dec 16, 2013

Court: Delaware District Court

Judge: Leonard P. Stark

Case Summary:
Callertone Innovations filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sprint accusing that their two patents covering ring-tone advertising were infringed. Callertone had also filed a dozen other lawsuits targeting other cell phone service providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon, At&T, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile etc. from Oct to Nov 2011. The US patents in question were: 7852995 and 7860225 both entitled “Method and apparatus for selectively providing messages in telecommunications systems” issued on Dec 14, 2010 and Dec 28, 2010 respectively. The patents expire[i] by Jun 01, 2020 and are currently assigned[ii] to Callertone Innovations (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

The complaint vaguely claimed that Sprint Nextel uses “methods and instrumentalities that embody the inventions,” in its products and services and cites one specific example of infringement—the use of “ringback tones.” It is a cell ringing tone selected by the cell phone user to set music or even personalized recorded sound to be heard when people call.

Separate cases filed against Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile were consolidated and the proceedings moved together. The parties agreed to settle the case and filed a joint status report announcing to Court that they have entered into a written settlement agreement and are in the process of carrying out the terms of settlement. Later, the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with prejudice that was granted by the Court. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Each party will bear its own costs and fees.

All the above filed cases by Callertone Innovations have been closed.

See 1:11-cv-01039 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.
Patent Term Estimator, use our free tool or download our free Android app on Google Play Store.

[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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