Novatel sue ZTE and Franklin Wireless over alleged MiFi patent infringement

MiFi manufacturer Novatel Wireless has filed a patent lawsuit against ZTE and Franklin Wireless, alleging that the rival firms have infringed five patents "related to key architecture and functionality" of the mobile hotspots. According to Peter Laparulo, the company's chairman and CEO, "Novatel Wireless invented the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot" and "competitors need to rely on their own inventions rather than infringe on ours."

The MiFi was first announced back in late 2008, as an easy way to share a single 3G data connection with up to five WiFi clients. It went on to inspire a number of rival devices, including 4G variants. Most recently, AT&T announced a version of Novatel's unit that went on sale last month.

Press Release:

Novatel Wireless Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Franklin Wireless and ZTE

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL), a provider of wireless broadband access solutions, today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Franklin Wireless Corp., ZTE Corp. and ZTE(USA), Inc. for infringing on five Novatel Wireless' patents related to key architecture and functionality of the MiFi® family of Intelligent Mobile Hotspots. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

"Novatel Wireless invented the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and with that created a whole new product category in the wireless ecosystem," said Peter Leparulo, Chairman and CEO of Novatel Wireless. "We're confident that we will continue to lead the market, but competitors need to rely on their own inventions rather than infringe on ours," Leparulo continued.

Novatel Wireless holds numerous U.S. and international key patents and patent applications around elements of the MiFi Mobile Intelligent Hotspot family of products, a new product category invented by Novatel Wireless.

Since its introduction, Novatel Wireless' MiFi branded products have commercially launched with 25 operators worldwide and have received almost every major industry accolade for innovation.