In 1995, Harris Corp. entered into a joint venture with MLMC Ltd. to pursue licensing opportunities and initiate litigation over two patents for infrastructure equipment used in cellular phone systems. MLMC sued Verizon Wireless, Alltel Corp., Airtouch Corp., GT Wireless and other cellphone firms, charging that they had infringed on the patents by purchasing and using equipment manufactured by Lucent Technologies Inc.
The defendants denied infringement, contending that the Harris system was different from the approach developed by Bell Labs and the patent was invalid because Harris had marketed and sold the technology before it applied for the patent. On December 4, a Delaware jury found no infringement and found the Harris patent invalid. John M. Desmarais, Robert Appleby, Edward Donovan and Alan Kellman of the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis represented the defendants.
This article appeared in its entirety in the December 17, 2001 The National Law Journal.