• On December 20, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the ruling of the federal district court in Seattle that T-Mobile’s prepaid wireless refill cards and accompanying cellular service did not infringe Israel-based Aerotel’s 1987 patent for its system for making prepaid telephone calls. The trial court construed the Aerotel patent to require each caller to enter manually a special code after dialing a special exchange, and as such that process precluded Aeretol from proving its infringement claim against T-Mobile’s prepaid calling system. The Court of Appeals affirmed, agreeing that the trial court’s construction of the patent was “compelled by the natural sequence of steps in a telephone call” and by the language of the patent. Aerotel Ltd. v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 2010-1179 (Fed. Cir.).
  • On December 17, 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Alexandria rejected T-Mobile’s suit alleging that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors violated section 332 of the Communications Act when it denied T-Mobile’s application to install three antenna panels on a proposed extension to an existing 100-foot cellular pole. T-Mobile also argued that the Board “unreasonably discriminated among providers of functionally equivalent wireless services” and prohibited the provision of wireless services. The district court denied T-Mobile’s motion for summary judgment and granted the Fairfax Board’s motion, finding that the Board’s concern for the repeated complaints of nearby residents is a sufficient basis on which to deny T-Mobile’s application. The court concluded that the “record provides significant evidence in support of the board’s determination that T-Mobile’s proposed facilities create a different visual and aesthetic impact on the … residential community and the historic and scenic Georgetown Pike.” T-Mobile Northeast LLC v. Fairfax County Bd. of Supervisors, No. 1:10-cv-117 (E.D. Va.).