U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,811.15
    -18.19 (-0.48%)
     
  • Dow 30

    30,932.37
    -469.64 (-1.50%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,192.35
    +72.92 (+0.56%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,201.05
    +0.88 (+0.04%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    61.66
    -1.87 (-2.94%)
     
  • Gold

    1,733.00
    -42.40 (-2.39%)
     
  • Silver

    26.70
    -0.98 (-3.56%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2088
    -0.0099 (-0.81%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4600
    -0.0580 (-3.82%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3922
    -0.0091 (-0.65%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    106.5500
    +0.3200 (+0.30%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    44,918.75
    -2,908.90 (-6.08%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    912.88
    -20.25 (-2.17%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,483.43
    -168.53 (-2.53%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,966.01
    -1,202.26 (-3.99%)
     

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

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Sheila Dang and Jonathan Stempel
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: The AT&T logo is pictures on a building in Los Angeles
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

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)