Xtera In Subsea Patent Row With Nokia And NEC

Created January 5, 2018
News and Business

Provider of subsea fibre optic solutions Xtera has announced that it has initiated legal action against Nokia Corporation, including Alcatel-Lucent, and NEC Corporation, in order to halt what it says is infringement of its intellectual property in subsea telecommunications systems.
Xtera has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), alleging that Nokia and NEC are using its technology illegally and without permission, and seeking to prevent the companies from importing and selling in the US products that infringe on Xtera’s patents.

Xtera’s supplies both repeatered and un-repeatered systems, using high performance amplifiers to deliver traffic through a network infrastructure designed to optimise performance, deliver maximum reach and capacity, and reduce costs. Backed by continuous investments in engineering, research, and development, Xtera says it has remained at the forefront of innovation in the subsea telecoms industry. Its customers include telecoms service providers, content service providers, enterprises, and government entities worldwide.

Xtera believes that Nokia and NEC market and sell products that incorporate patent-protected technologies developed by Xtera without license to do so. These products include submarine line terminal equipment and components that are needed to transport optical signals across the ocean.
“Xtera’s investment in R&D, commitment to innovation, and focus on providing high-quality solutions to customers have always been, and will always be, at the core of our strategy. Our relentless pursuit of that strategy has transformed the subsea telecommunications industry, helping to enable the effective and efficient transmission of data across continents and around the world,” states Xtera Founder and Chief Operating Officer Keith Henderson. “We are proud of our achievements and our role as an industry pioneer, and we cannot allow our competitors to unfairly, and illegally, take advantage of our technology. By initiating legal action, Xtera is not only taking steps to protect what is lawfully ours, but we are also helping to ensure that innovation and intellectual property, which are essential to scientific advancement, are appropriately safeguarded.”

Xtera has asked the ITC to issue a permanent, limited exclusion order that would prevent entry into the USA of products that infringe on Xtera’s patents. The company also seeks a permanent cease and desist order that prohibits Nokia and NEC from importing, selling, distributing, marketing and/or advertising, and transferring any products within the US that infringe on Xtera’s asserted US patents.

Xtera is asserting five patents against Nokia and NEC, including: US Patent Nos: 8,380,068; 7,860,403; 8,971,171; 8,351,798; and 8,406,637. In paragraphs 81 – 89 of the complaint filed with the ITC, Xtera says it provides illustrative, non-exhaustive examples of instances in which Nokia and NEC engaged in the improper importation and sale of certain subsea telecommunications technologies patented by Xtera without license to do so.

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.