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Raven Industries Inc. Message Board

  • ardyww4122 ardyww4122 Aug 9, 2013 2:39 PM Flag

    GPS lawsuit

    Phil Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners LLC has filed suit against makers of GPS devices and industry groups, claiming they negotiated in bad faith over spectrum conflicts that drove a wireless company backed by the hedge fund into bankruptcy.

    The suit against Deere DE -5.58% & Co., Garmin International Inc., Trimble Navigation Ltd., TRMB +0.21% The U.S. GPS Industry Council and The Coalition to Save Our GPS asks for $1.9 billion in damages allegedly suffered by Harbinger.

    Garmin, Trimble and representatives from the industry groups weren't immediately available. A Deere spokesman declined to comment, citing policy on pending litigation.

    Harbinger invested heavily in the wireless industry by creating a company called LightSquared Inc. It never got off the ground, because its service could have conflicted with GPS devices using neighboring spectrum.

    The hedge fund claims in the suit that Harbinger worked for years with the GPS community to resolve those conflicts, but that the GPS makers hid the fact that their devices were using Harbinger's spectrum as well.

    Harbinger claims those conflicts didn't come to light until LightSquared was about to deploy its technology and makers of GPS equipment began complaining that their devices would malfunction if LightSquared used parts of the spectrum.

    LightSquared remains in bankruptcy proceedings, and its future remains uncertain. An auction for LightSquared's wireless spectrum assets has been set for later this year, with a unit of Dish Network Corp. DISH +1.25% as the lead bidder.

    Not sure is raven is involved in this suit? FYI

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    • I should thing they'd be at least marginally involved through the trade groups. But wouldn't they have been named if they were lead defendants? I think I know one thing about this--that it is possible to keep ones signal from drifting into adjacent space with more filters but that in a competitive environment, companies sometimes don't spend the money to filter their equipment properly. I have a vaguely bad impression about Harbinger from years back though I can't remember what exactly the reason was. They won't get anywhere near the amount they are asking and spread among all the defendants I should think Raven's part in any award would be manageable. And they may even have been more careful to avoid spilling their signals into adjacent frequencies or they may be less of a problem in rural areas. The companies listed would all have a larger presence in relatively crowded urban markets.

      But these are just guesses and not to be taken as definite.

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