Mobile game analyst firm Telephia has announced that it has filed a lawsuit against its chief rival in the space, M:Metrics, with the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California for violating its intellectual property rights, in a move likely to shake up the game ranking metrics for the mobile game biz.
The complaint claims that M:Metrics has engaged in acts of patent infringement in connection with the development and distribution of smartphone metering software. According to Telephia, the complaint is based upon multiple patents awarded to it in the area of metering mobile devices, including:
- United States Patent #6,745,011 B1 – “System and Method for Measuring Wireless Device and Network Usage and Performance Metrics.” Filed September 1, 2000 and issued June 1, 2004
- United States Patent #6,754,470 B2 – “System and Method for Measuring Wireless Device and Network Usage and Performance Metrics.” Filed August 31, 2001 and issued June 22, 2004
As part of the litigation, Telephia is seeking permanent injunction against M:Metrics infringement on the company’s patent rights. "We believe that M:Metrics has violated Telephia’s intellectual property rights through the unauthorized development of their smartphone metering panel," said Sid Gorham, President and CEO, Telephia.
Gorham continued: "We believe that M:Metrics has deployed metering technology that not only infringes on Telephia’s intellectual property but also creates unacceptable risks for consumers and mobile operators. By paying mobile subscribers to install metering software to their phones that has not been certified by carriers and device OEMs, M;Metrics is creating the potential for a wide range of device performance, customer service, and consumer privacy problems."
In response, M:Metrics, has issued a dismissive public statement, with Will Hodgman, CEO, M:Metrics claiming: "The suit by Telephia, citing two patents in their press release as being infringed by M:Metrics, is totally without merit. Any reasonable inquiry into what M:Metrics' technology actually does would have clearly shown no infringement of those two patents."
"Sadly, Telephia is less interested in competing in the marketplace and more interested in competing in legal circles with outrageous and spurious claims," added Hodgman. "We will continue to stay focused on what we do best: providing the marketplace with the most accurate, reliable measures of mobile content consumption while providing outstanding service to our growing list of industry-leading clients."
Telephia seem to have brought the suit particularly because M:Metrics is in the process of adding a metering-based system to its previous survey-based methods of tracking usage. Gamasutra recently covered
some major contrasts between the two firms' approaches as part of a 'Going Mobile' column by analyst Steve Palley.
At the time, Palley noted of sharp contrasts in approach and results: "M:Metrics says the industry is stagnating, and Telephia thinks that it’s going critical. Many arguments could be made about the validity and relative merits of the statistical methods used--M:Metrics’ study relies on user surveys from three different countries, while Telephia examined tens of thousands of cell phone bills to dig up numbers--but the fact is that most industry readers will simply side with the results they want to hear." Palley's column later this week will deal with this controversy in more detail.