Crown Use: A Royal Defence to Patent Infringement?
IPCom was a non-practising entity which acquired a portfolio of telecoms patents from Robert Bosch in 2007. Over the course of the decade prior to the case, it actively enforced some of these patents against several mobile phone manufacturers (eg, Nokia and HTC) across Europe and the United Kingdom. This case against Vodafone concerned a patented method for granting authorisation to a mobile device to access a given telecoms channel at a particular time.
This technology is used in the United Kingdom during emergency situations under the Mobile Telecommunications Privileged Access Scheme (MTPAS). The MTPAS gives the network at a base station priority access to emergency services’ mobile phones through an identifying class which is assigned to such phones by their SIM card. Under the MTPAS, a request that emergency responders be given priority access to the network is sent by a senior police officer to mobile network providers.
Source: Law Business Research