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Dispute over Mobile Survey Patents

June 19 2006

Mobile measurement firm M:Metrics has responded to the filing of a lawsuit against it by Telephia, Inc, last week, calling its case 'totally without merit'. Telephia alleges patent infringement in connection with the development and distribution of smartphone metering software.

Telephia filed the suit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California claiming M:Metrics had violated its intellectual property rights. The software in question is distributed via www.mobilepanel.com and the complaint is based upon multiple patents awarded to Telephia in the area of metering mobile devices. They include US Patents #6,745,011 B1 - 'System and Method for Measuring Wireless Device and Network Usage and Performance Metrics' and #6,754,470 B2 - 'System and Method for Measuring Wireless Device and Network Usage and Performance Metrics', both issued in June 2004.

Sid Gorham, President and CEO, Telephia, states: 'We believe that M:Metrics has violated Telephia's intellectual property rights through the unauthorized development of their smartphone metering panel. It's regrettable that we need to resort to legal action, but we have been unable to obtain their cooperation through other means. We plan to vigorously protect and defend our intellectual property in this area.' He adds that Telephia is aiming to win 'the full technical and business support of mobile operators, device OEM's and other key industry players' for its device metering platform, but believes that 'M:Metrics has deployed metering technology that not only infringes on Telephia's intellectual property but also creates unacceptable risks for consumers and mobile operators.' These would include 'device performance, customer service, and consumer privacy problems.'

Responding today, Will Hodgman, CEO, M:Metrics called the claims 'outrageous and spurious' and said: 'Any reasonable inquiry into what M:Metrics' technology actually does would have clearly shown no infringement of the two patents. As a result of not having made that inquiry, M:Metrics will be asking the court for Rule 11 sanctions and attorney fees against Telephia if they insist on further prosecution of this baseless action.'

Although M:Metrics has not yet released details on its meter product, it will continue with its plans to announce details next week. The firm is a private, venture funded corporation headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices in San Francisco, California. It runs a large monthly survey of mobile subscribers across the US, UK, Germany and France, as well as using automated data collection methodologies.

Telephia provides syndicated information products for the mobile communications industry - both measurement and integrated analysis. They include information on subscriber share, network quality, device share, customer satisfaction, revenue share, application usage and many other key performance indicators.

The disputants are online at www.mmetrics.com and www.telephia.com .

All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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