ASSIA, BT bury DSL patent litigation hatchet

DSL and fiber-optic network management software company ASSIA and British Telecommunications (BT) have called a cease fire in their international patent war. The companies, at odds over whether BT infringed on ASSIA patents related to DSL management (and vice versa), have agreed to end the dispute and cross-license each other's patented intellectual property.

DSL and fiber-optic network management software company ASSIA and British Telecommunications (BT) have called a cease fire in their international patent war. The companies, at odds over whether BT infringed on ASSIA patents related to DSL management (and vice versa), have agreed to end the dispute and cross-license each other's patented intellectual property.

The two companies have been arguing in court since 2011, with ASSIA filing charges against BT in the UK and with the European Patent Office and BT firing back with similar litigation in the United States.

ASSIA appeared to be gaining the upper hand by the end of last year, when the UK High Court ruled that BT's method of managing aspects of its fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure infringed on ASSIA patent EP (UK) 1,869,790 (see "BT infringed on ASSIA DSL patent rules UK High Court"). The patent covers "a method of using a state transition matrix to decide how to choose the most desirable line profile in which to operate a DSL connection," wrote ASSIA's Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs & General Counsel Noah Mesel in an email to Lightwave last December.

The technology firm subsequently asserted that BT was forced to shut down its management system as a result of the finding (see "Has BT shut down its DSL management system?"). A BT source at the time declined to confirm or deny ASSIA's claim.

The two parties now say all's well.

"We are pleased that we have been able to resolve the issues with BT," said ASSIA Chairman and CEO John M. Cioffi via a press release.

"Both BT and ASSIA are pleased to end this long running dispute to the mutual satisfaction of both parties," agreed BT's Managing Director of Service Strategy & Operations Mike Galvin in the same announcement.

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