BERWYN, Pa., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A judge in federal district court in Philadelphia has ruled that a landmark antitrust lawsuit filed by TruePosition against telecom giants Ericsson (Stockholm: ERICB), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) will move forward.
Judge Robert Kelly, Sr., of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, ruled in a decision issued on August 21, 2012, that the "allegations of an illegal conspiracy between the Corporate Defendants are plausible when viewed in context and as a whole."
Judge Kelly further stated that "[w]hen viewing the Amended Complaint in its entirety, the allegations give rise to more than speculation... when read together they do raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of an illegal agreement." Judge Kelly added that it was not required that he find at this point in the litigation that the allegations were "probable."
TruePosition's lawsuit alleges that the Defendants, including three of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, are illegally conspiring to eliminate an innovative technology that allows police, fire departments and other emergency responders to more accurately locate mobile phone users during disasters and other emergency situations.
The lawsuit alleges the three companies "hijacked" the Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) that govern which mobile positioning technologies will be in the standard for future LTE "4G" wireless networks. The complaint accuses the defendants of blocking the adoption of TruePosition's already existing and broadly deployed technologies into the new standards for LTE, while at the same time ensuring that their own unproven technologies were included in the new standards.
Also named in the complaint is the standard setting organization itself: Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Stuart Salen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of TruePosition, stated: "We are pleased with the court's careful study of the allegations and well-reasoned decision, and look forward to proving our case."
TruePosition's technology, which has been in use in emergency response, law enforcement and national security settings for nearly a decade, is the only current high-accuracy network-based location technology that has been proven to work with sufficient accuracy to meet FCC standards, and the only one to do so reliably inside buildings. The company's positioning technology, Uplink Time Difference of Arrival (U-TDOA), was included in the standards for the past two generations of wireless networks – 2G and 3G and has been successfully and widely deployed in the United States by two major wireless service providers to support the E9-1-1 emergency location system.
More than 65 percent of emergency 9-1-1 calls in the United States now come through mobile telephones.
TruePosition's U-TDOA has been engineered to provide the same highly accurate positioning for LTE 4G networks as it has for the prior generations of network technology. U-TDOA is the only high accuracy mobile positioning technology deployed today that can find cell phone users regardless of the type of phone in use or the software residing on that phone. It is the only technology that can accurately locate mobile phones underground or when trapped under dense debris or rubble. And it is the only location technology that cannot be disabled or spoofed at the handset. Such technology can be critically important to emergency response during natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes, as well as to law enforcement in response to criminal activity.
The case, TruePosition Inc. v. LM Ericsson Telephone Company, et. al., No. 11-4574 (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania), was originally filed in July, 2011. Judge Kelly dismissed that version of the complaint in January 2012, but invited TruePosition to refile with more specific allegations of an antitrust conspiracy. The Amended Complaint was filed in February, 2012.
TruePosition, owned by Denver-based Liberty Media (Nasdaq: LMCA), is a leader in the research, development, manufacturing and sale of high accuracy location products that operate over cellular networks. TruePosition U-TDOA is a location technology that assists police, fire, and ambulance services in saving lives by locating more than 60 million cellular callers in the United States each year. The technology also enables law enforcement more effectively to combat criminal activity and terrorist threats.