Patent litigation makes BT switch off part of Infinity broadband

The UK Court of Appeal has granted an injunction against BT, forcing the telecomms giant to disable its Next Generation Access Dynamic Line Management (NGA DLM) system at 6am last Friday, 21st November.

The case was brought against British Telecommunications plc by California-based ASSIA Inc., which operates in the field of DSL technology, providing software and consultancy services to many of the world's leading broadband companies, including AT&T, Verizon and Sky. Unhappy at what ASSIA saw as BT's use of its technology, the US company sued BT for patent infringement. The Court of Appeal agrees with ASSIA, ruling on 1st November that BT's flagship Infinity 1 and Infinity 2 broadband system infringed two of ASSIA's patents in the field of dynamic spectrum management.

ASSIA will now make a  claim for damages against BT, which could amount to many millions of pounds.  BT will also have to pay a significant proportion of ASSIA's legal costs, which in case like this are likely to be over £1 million in themselves.

So, if you, like me, have noticed a distinct deterioration in your BT Infinity service since 21st November, now you know the cause.