Xtera sues Nokia and NEC over subsea cable patents

03 January 2018 | James Pearce

Xtera has launched legal action against both Nokia and NEC Corporation, claiming both firms and their subsidiaries have infringed on its patents.

In a filing with the US International Trade Commission, the subsea cable technology specialist said it seeks to "prevent the companies from importing and selling in the US products that infringe on Xtera’s patents."

Xtera is also seeking a permanent cease and desist order that prohibits Nokia and NEC from importing, selling, distributing, marketing and/or advertising, and transferring any products within the US that infringe on its patents.

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Xtera is asserting five patents against Nokia, including subsidiary Alcatel Submarine Networks, and NEC, including: U.S. Patent Nos.: 8,380,068; 7,860,403; 8,971,171; 8,351,798; and 8,406,637.

Alleged products in breach include Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 2 and 1620LM Submarine Line Terminal Equipment. For NEC, its NS Series Submarine Repeatered Subsea Systems are at issue, according to reports.

Keith Henderson, founder and chief operating officer of Xtera, said: "Xtera’s investment in R&D, commitment to innovation, and focus on providing high-quality solutions to customers have always been, and will always be, at the core of our strategy. Our relentless pursuit of that strategy has transformed the subsea telecommunications industry, helping to enable the effective and efficient transmission of data across continents and around the world. 

"We are proud of our achievements and our role as an industry pioneer, and we cannot allow our competitors to unfairly, and illegally, take advantage of our technology. By initiating legal action, Xtera is not only taking steps to protect what is lawfully ours, but we are also helping to ensure that innovation and intellectual property, which are essential to scientific advancement, are appropriately safeguarded."

Capacity contacted both Nokia and NEC for a statement. NEC said it will send one in the coming days.

A spokesperson for Nokia said: "We are studying the claims and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our interests."

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Topics: Xtera, Nokia, NEC, subsea, ITC, patents, Keith Henderson