Court orders injunction on BCGI prepaid service

Chalk up another one for patent holding: A federal judge has ordered an injunction against BCGI's prepaid wireless services after ruling it infringed on Freedom Wireless' patent holdings. BCGI facilitates prepaid calling services for many carriers, including Cingular and Alltel. The injunction allows the companies to serve current customers for 90 days, but they must also pay Freedom a 2.5-cent per minute royalty during that time. The companies are forbidden to sell the service to new customers.

The ruling will affect an estimated 3 million prepaid users and 70 percent of BCGI's revenue. Cingular's GoPhone users on TDMA networks and Sprint's Boost services are among the affected services. An eight-person jury awarded Freedom $128 million in May after coming to the same conclusion. Last week, the judge added $19.7 million in interest to the damages. BCGI said it plans to appeal but acknowledges an unsuccessful attempt could result in bankruptcy.

For more on the court ordered injunction on BCGI's prepaid service:
- read this piece from RCR News

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