McGuireWoods Wins Key Patent Trial for Wireless Carriers

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 9:00am

RICHMOND, Va. – An eight-member Richmond federal court jury took less than two hours on Monday to rule in favor of McGuireWoods’ client Verizon Wireless, and several other wireless carriers including AllTel, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and device manufacturer Novatel Wireless, in a massive patent infringement case.   

The jury ruled the wireless carriers did not violate a patent by selling wireless aircards, and it declared that the dialing technology patent at the center of the suit – held by DNT – was invalid. 

DNT was seeking $174 million in damages in the original lawsuit filed in the Richmond Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Brian Riopelle, a McGuireWoods partner and chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department, led the team representing the wireless carriers.  The team successfully argued that the aircards, which plug into laptop computers and enable users to access the Internet, relied on different technology than the dialing technology patent first filed in 1990.   

“We are obviously satisfied with the jury’s verdict,” Riopelle said.  “You can’t get on a train or walk through an airport without seeing someone using an aircard to stay connected to their home or office.  We are pleased the jury saw that the technology used by these wireless carriers to provide that service was unique and in no way violated the patent.” 

Riopelle was assisted by McGuireWoods partner Dave Finkelson. Attorneys from Wiley Rein; Nixon Peabody; K & L Gates; Perkins Coie; and Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch also represented the wireless carriers in this trial.   

McGuireWoods LLP is a full-service law firm with approximately 900 lawyers in 18 offices in the United States, Europe and Central Asia providing legal counsel to clients around the world.  For more information, visit



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