Singapore markets close in 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Straits Times Index

    2,939.83
    -33.71 (-1.13%)
     
  • Nikkei

    28,966.01
    -1,202.26 (-3.99%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    29,046.13
    -1,028.04 (-3.42%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,651.96
    -7.01 (-0.11%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    45,261.02
    -5,105.00 (-10.14%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    900.66
    -32.48 (-3.48%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,829.34
    -96.09 (-2.45%)
     
  • Dow

    31,402.01
    -559.85 (-1.75%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,119.43
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • Gold

    1,756.70
    -18.70 (-1.05%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    62.78
    -0.75 (-1.18%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.5180
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia

    1,574.60
    -6.94 (-0.44%)
     
  • Jakarta Composite Index

    6,218.33
    -71.31 (-1.13%)
     
  • PSE Index

    6,794.86
    +38.91 (+0.58%)
     

AT&T is sued for $1.35 billion over technology to synchronize smart devices

Sheila Dang and Jonathan Stempel
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: The AT&T logo is pictures on a building in Los Angeles

By Sheila Dang and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc was sued on Tuesday for at least $1.35 billion by a Seattle company that accused the telecommunications giant of stealing its patented "twinning" technology, which lets smart devices such as watches and tablets respond to calls placed to a single phone number.

Network Apps LLC said AT&T abandoned joint development and licensing agreements for its technology in 2014 after realizing it would owe a "fortune" in royalties because the market for smart devices was exploding, only to then incorporate the technology a year later in its own product, NumberSync.

According to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, NumberSync uses the "same concept and architecture" with only "cosmetic changes," and its purported "inventors" were the same AT&T personnel who had worked with the plaintiffs.

Network Apps, which was once known as Mya Number, said Dallas-based AT&T has not paid required royalties since October 2015.

It is seeking at least $450 million of damages, which it wants tripled to reflect AT&T's alleged "willful and egregious infringement," plus royalties for any future infringements.

AT&T said this is the second time Network Apps has attempted a lawsuit, adding that the previous attempt back in 2017 was dismissed.

Network Apps' founders, John Wantz and Kyle Schei, in a joint statement said "AT&T's decision to steal our technology" has forced them to scale back operations significantly.

"Our technology is an eloquent solution for a critical problem at a critical time in the industry," they added.

According to AT&T's website, NumberSync lets consumers make and receive calls on smartwatches, tablets, computers andcompatible Alexa-enabled devices without having to download appsor engage in "call-forwarding acrobatics." The case is Network Apps LLC et al v AT&T Inc et al, U.S.District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 21-00718.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Louise Heavens)