Ambit, Delta, Aircell and moving parts…

The Aircell management reshuffle continues. Sources tell RWG that Aircell executive Tom Weigman is no longer with the company. This comes after Weigman was allegedly passed up for promotion to president and CEO, as  Michael Small was hired to the post.

Separately, but meanwhile, the Ambit lawsuit against Aircell and Delta Air Lines - claiming patent infringement regarding the provision of onboard Internet – has seen some recent movement, with the following occurring on 23 March (so this is going to trial?!?)

Loislaw Federal District Court Opinions (number 8 on the list)
AMBIT CORP. v. DELTA AIRLINES, INC. (Mass. 3-23-2010)
CIVIL ACTION NO. 09-10217-WGY.
March 23, 2010

On January 22, 2010, this Court denied the motion of Delta Airlines, Inc., and Aircell LLC (“Delta”) for summary judgment that Patent No. 7,400,858 (the “’858 Patent”) is invalid as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103 and notified the parties that it was considering granting summary judgment sua sponte on that issue for AMBIT Corp. (“Ambit”). Order Den. Mot. Summ. J., Jan. 22, 2010 [Doc. No. 135]. Subsequently, Delta filed an opposition arguing not only that its December 22, 2009, submission, which relied on a 1993 paper by A.C. Papavramidis et al. (“Papavramidis”) combined with “Admitted Prior Art,” was sufficient, but also discussing multiple other systems and references (Airfone system and Dennis, the original Aircell system, and the Casewell article) that allegedly render the `858 Patent obvious. Delta also filed a new voluminous expert declaration and numerous exhibits in support of its contentions. Decl. William R. Michalson, Supp. Def.’s Opp. to Sua Sponte Summ. J. [Doc. No. 147]; Decl. Stephanie P. Koh Supp. Def.’s Opp’n to Sua Sponte Summ. J. [Doc. No. 144]. This new expert declaration and the other evidence submitted after December 5, 2009, violates the discovery deadline, Case Mgmt. Order, May 4, 2009 [Doc. No. 31], and will not be considered by this Court.

If you’ve got an opinion on either situation, you can comment – evenanonymously – to the comment section of this blog. What that means, specifically, is this – if you don’t want to give your real name or email address you don’t have to (you can be Anon at anon@anon.com if you want). If you’re rathercontact me directly, do so to my Yahoo address at mary_b_kirby@yahoo.com

(Photo above from Choking Sun’s photo stream on Flickr)

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3 Responses to Ambit, Delta, Aircell and moving parts…

  1. CJL March 28, 2010 at 3:57 am #

    Ah, I always seem to be posting negative comments – but believe me it is because I am interested and not trying to shoot you down. Let me explain:

    1) I love flying, and the current experience I get on my main route (Japan->UK) is actually quite adequate. If I must work, my laptop battery’s 2 hour capacity is usually more than enough for me to get through what I need to do. The IFE systems on all airlines on this route (direct flights) are quite superb – I get to see films I’d never really bother with at the cinema, and can even learn a new language (actually, that was an A380 to Singapore). The isolation fro te rest of the world is actually quite welcome – and I never really feel cutoff (I can actually catch up on mail, type responses and send them when I reach the other end).

    2) The pace of technology is moving faster than the pace of etiquette. As humans, we have evolved letter writing over thousands of years (I’m glad we no longer need to carve letters in stone anymore!). Sadly, voice communications is a relative infant and we are still learning and getting used to this relatively new medium, especially wireless voice, and the ability to speak anywhere with anyone. I still find it irritating that people still use ‘phones in public spaces without consideration for others. Emergency? Fine, by all means. Critical? Again, sometimes it happens. But as a general media, we need rules and manners to be built around the ‘phone so that we don’t annoy the hell out of each other. Quote your good self as an example, you commented that you want to keep in touch with you daughter whilst “on the road”. As a father of two youngish kids, I know how you feel, but I’m happier to do this in private, where it I believe it belongs. The thought of having a person near me ranting or just talking whilst I’m trying to get some valuable sleep really scares me!

    3) This is what prompted me to post – power. In an industry dedicated to reducing carbon emmissions by a large percentage, shouldn’t there be focus on less consumption and not how we can use even more devices on board? Providing 1000watt outlets at each seat (in addition to the power supply for the IFE) MUST have a drain on the engines power, and hence increase fuel consumption. To be honest, I have no idea how much, but I would bet that for an A380, it could be significant enough to impact fuel costs somehow (and hence more carbon into our atmosphere).

    If we really MUST go down this route (and I accept that there are people have the exact opposite opinion to me) then can we go down that route with having “quiet zones” ensured on all flights (remember the smoking and non smoking zones?), and equally ensure that our thirst for more connectiivity dovetails with our need to be as ecologically friendly as possible?

    I’m off to Hawaii this week, comfortable in the knowledge that the equipment used on that route is usually the oldest and least well equipped and hence I’m not going to be bugged by people using voice on board. Sadly, I’m guessing that the IFE is also going to be a monitor in the ceiling with stethescope earphones!! :(

  2. docketlooker April 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    The trial is scheduled for this June and only weeks away.

  3. Mary Kirby April 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Thanks so much for the heads up!