(DALLAS) – The 20-year representation by Hemingway & Hansen, LLP, a Dallas-based intellectual property law firm, of Red River Fiber Optic Corporation and its principals, has resulted in approximately $20 million in settlement and licensing royalties related to the patented fiber optic technology invented by Red River Fiber Optic founder, Joseph Zelikovitz. The fiber optic technology invented by Zelikovitz relates to, among other things, an end-to-end fiber optic transmission system and a faster and more flexible method for routing packet transmissions on a fiber optic network. At the time the patent was issued in 1996, the primary system used to transmit data included large segments of copper wire line and 56k modems. The patented technology increased data transmission speeds by extending fiber optic cables end-to-end along the transmission path (which eliminated wire-line bottlenecks), while still providing flexible routing of data packets using multiple tiers of intelligent routing devices.
In the early 1990s, Zelikovitz requested that Scott Hemingway, partner at Hemingway & Hansen, represent him in his patent prosecution matters. The Zelikovitz representation began when Hemingway was just a few years out of law school. A week after providing Hemingway with invention disclosure documents for his fiber optic transmission system in 1994, Zelikovitz suddenly passed away. Hemingway, with permission from Zelikovitz’s widow and beneficiary, Melba Zelikovitz, prepared and filed for patent protection on Joseph’s invention. Though faced with a deceased inventor and only an invention disclosure document to work from, Hemingway successfully secured patent rights from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in September 1996.
Hemingway then led the efforts of pursuing infringers of the patent rights secured by Red River Fiber Optic Corporation, including supervising the preparation and filing of legal complaints for patent infringement against Level 3 Communications, Inc. in 2002, and later, Verizon, AT&T Corp. and Qwest Communications International Inc. in 2008. Ten other companies have been accused of patent infringement this year and settlements are being reached with most of those accused infringers.
The Red River complaint for patent infringement accused each company of patent infringement by performing one of the following acts: making, using, offering to sell, and selling within the United States products and services that practice the inventions of the patent; contributing to the infringement of the patent by others in the United States; and/or inducing others to infringe the patent within the United States.
“Joseph knew he was very ill when he provided me with his invention disclosure on the fiber optic system in 1994, and he did not tell me anything about his serious condition,” Hemingway said. “He just handed us the project, and I believe he entrusted us to take care of everything going forward. Our firm believes everything we have done and everything we have accomplished on this project was in pursuit of carrying out Joseph’s final wishes, which included obtaining patent rights that could benefit his estate and primary beneficiary, Melba Zelikovitz Stiner.”
“We were truly blessed to receive such positive results from our relationship with Scott’s firm, and thankful we never gave up on our efforts to protect Joseph’s invention,” said Melba Zelikovitz Stiner.
Hemingway & Hansen, LLP is committed to relentlessly pursuing clients’ needs, regardless of the client’s circumstances or size. The firm continues obtaining outstanding results for its clients’ patent assets and licensing work.