New NPENetwork Congestion Solutions (NCS) sued 11 communications and wireless companies in its first round of patent infringement suits. The complaints were filed against AT&T, Atlantic Broadband Group, Cablevision, Cable One, CenturyLink, Mediacom Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile, United States Cellular, and WideOpenWest Finance, and targeted defendants’ network congestion management practices. All the suits assert a single patent (6,826,620) related to monitoring network congestion notifications in a communication network. The ‘620 patent originated with Paradyne, an AT&T/Lucent spin out that was acquired by Zhone Technologies in September 2005. The patent’s assignment history resembles that of entities controlled by Robert Westerlund: from Paradyne, the patent was passed several times between Zhone, Patent Business Development, Clearwater Innovations, Internet Voice Solutions, Bandwidth Management Solutions, and Strategic Intellectual Solutions before it was assigned to Network Congestion Solutions in June 2014. The correspondent on the last three assignments of the patent—from Bandwidth Management to Patent Business Development, then to Strategic Intellectual Solutions and finally to Network Congestion—is attorney Clay McGurk, who formerly worked in-house at Motorola and Discovision. Bandwidth Management asserted the ‘620 patent in litigation against Verizon (Cellco) in February 2014; that case, which appears to be the first time the patent was litigated, was dismissed a month after the complaint was filed. 7/10, Delaware District Court, 1:14cv00894, 1:14cv00895, 1:14cv00896, 1:14cv00897, 1:14cv00898, 1:14cv00899, 1:14cv00900, 1:14cv00901, 1:14cv00902, 1:14cv00903, 1:14cv00904
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