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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges won a $128 million jury verdict for Freedom Wireless Inc. in its patent suit against Cingular Wireless and other cell phone carriers. On Friday, a jury in Boston federal court found that Cingular infringed patents covering a system that allows customers to prepay their calls and be cut off when their account runs out. The patents are owned by inventors Douglas Fougnies and Dan Harned. Their company, Freedom Wireless, sued Cingular and six other wireless carriers, as well as Boston Communications Group Inc., for as much as $1 billion. One of the carriers, Verizon Wireless, settled out of the case before trial. BCG sells a prepaid service to Verizon and other cell phone carriers The verdict “compensates my clients for infringement that’s been going on the last seven years,” said William Price, a partner at Quinn Emanuel. “More important to them, it validates their patents so they can license their technology.” Price said he believes the award is the largest civil verdict in Massachusetts federal court in the past three or four years. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Palo Alto, Calif., partner Denis Salmon, who is representing Cingular and AT&T, could not be reached for comment. Media representatives of the two companies also could not be reached. Price said a hearing will be held in June on the defendants’ claim that the inventors got the patent through inequitable conduct. Quinn Emanuel took the case on a contingency basis. Price would not specify the amount of the award his firm would receive, but said it would be a typical contingency percentage. The firm will also receive a contingency in any licensing agreements that Freedom Wireless signs.

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