Patent Licensing Firm TOT Power Control Files Patent Infringement Suit against Apple’s 3G Cellular Technology

Recently, TOT Power Control, S.L. (“TOT”), a technology and patent licensing entity has filed a complaint against Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) alleging infringement of two of TOT’s patents. The complaint has been filed in the District Court of Delaware alleging for infringing a pair of wireless communications technology patents covering baseband modem power output and its relation to call quality. TOT in its suit against Apple seeks damages, royalties, and court fees.

3G cellular technologyTOT’s patent portfolio is based on technology conceived, developed, and patented by its President, Alvaro Medrano, along with four colleagues.   During Mr. Medrano’s Masters’s degree studies in Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University, he specialized and developed certain power control solutions useful in mobile communications. The technologies offer superior methods and devices for managing how power is used to respond to decrease and increase in the ratio of the radio signal to interference (SIR).

The patents in question are:

  • S. Patent No. 7,532,865 titled “Outer Loop Power Control Method and Device for Wireless Communications Systems,” and
  • S. Patent No 7,496,376, titled “Outer Loop Power Control Method and Device for Wireless Communications Systems,”

Essentially, in the wireless communication system, the patents/ technologies of TOT allow power control using the outer loop that includes the detection of the normal, wind-up, and unwinding operational modes of the outer loop and, in the last, unwinding mode, anticipates the suitable alteration of the target signal/interference ratio to quickly adapt to the outer loop power control function in normal mode. Thus, the unwinding time is shortened and the interference in the mobile communication system is reduced, while its capacity and the quality of its wireless connections are increased.

From an applications point-of-view, ordinarily, power control for ongoing transmissions, such as in phone calls, depends on a closed-loop system that adjusts transmission power (inner loop) based on a signal-to-interference ratio target (outer loop). While standards like 3GPP UMTS offer specifications for inner loop power control, outer loop algorithms, which adjust the signal-to-interference ratio target to account for changing radio conditions, are not well defined. However, with this patented TOT technology, power control is utilized in wireless communications protocols to avoid interference between user equipment codes in uplink and downlink signals. In the TOT patented technology, signal-to-interference ratio target values are managed so that power, and consequently wireless channel capacity, is not wasted and call quality is maintained.

In the past too, TOT has filed similar patent infringement suits against a number of major wireless companies, including Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Huawei was also named as an infringing party in TOT’s suit against Vodafone Spain after the telco backed out of a 2012 licensing agreement to implement 3G technology developed by the Chinese company.

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