Mar 29, 2011
UM Prof, Local Law Firm Ding Verizon For $5.4M In Patent Case
The Southfield law firm Brooks Kushman P.C. reported that last week a federal jury awarded its client, Ann Arbor-based Cheetah Omni LLC, $5.4 million in damages against three subsidiaries of Verizon Communications Inc.
Cheetah Omni’s founder and CTO is Mohammed N. Islam, a professor of optics in the University of Michigan’s engineering and medical schools.
The jury found that Verizon infringed on Cheetah’s U.S. patent 7,522,836, “fiber to the home technology.” Federal records show Islam applied for the patent in 2006, and it was granted in 2009.
Emails to Verizon seeking comment were not immediately returned.
Cheetah Omni is a research and development company that has developed and licensed numerous patents in the field of optics.
The Cheetah patent covers optical processing systems used to transmit TV, Internet and phone service using fiber optics connected directly to customers’ homes. This “fiber to the home” technology allows for delivery of large quantities of information at high speeds, which is important as the demand grows for instant delivery of video to homes.
Cheetah Omni sued Verizon, accusing Verizon’s Fiber Optic Service network of infringing the patent. Verizon has deployed its FiOS network in the Northeastern United States, Texas and Southern California. The optical routers in issue used in Verizon’s FiOS network were made by Tellabs Inc.
Cheetah’s trial team consisted of Brooks Kushman law firm’s Thomas Lewry, John Halan and John LeRoy and T. John Ward, Jr. from Ward & Smith. Verizon was represented by a team of attorneys from the Chicago and New York offices of Winston & Strawn LLP lead by Peter C. McCabe III.
Founded in 1983 by five intellectual property attorneys, Brooks Kushman has grown to approximately 70 lawyers and patent agents. Brooks Kushman counts six U.S. Fortune 100 companies among its clients.
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