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    7-Eleven, Circle K Among Nine Sued Over Cell Phone Patent

    Emsat Advanced Geo-Location Technology and a patent licensee allege vendors and retailers violated enhanced 911 services in cell phones.

    NEW YORK -- Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. and Circle K Stores Inc. were two of nine companies named in a lawsuit filed by Emsat Advanced Geo-Location Technology LLC and patent licensee Location Based Services LLC, alleging the defendants of infringing patents covering enhanced 911 services in cell phones, Law360.com reported.

    Other companies named in the suit include Virgin Mobile USA LP, toy company MGA Entertainment Inc., GreatCall Inc., Kajeet Inc., Tracfone Wireless Inc., Ace Cash Express Inc. and Ztar Mobile Inc.

    The complaint, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accuses the companies of infringing four patents and asks for a judgment of infringement, damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and attorneys' fees, according to the report.

    The suit claims the telecommunications companies infringe patents titled "Cellular telephone system that uses position of a mobile unit to make call management decisions," issued between 1999 and 2007, and covering location services for 911 calls, allowing for increased accuracy in determining the location of a cell phone user who has placed a call to an emergency operator, the report stated, citing the complaint. It also alleged the companies infringe a patent application filed January 2008, titled "Cellular telephone system that uses position of a mobile unit to make call management decisions."

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission established an "Enhanced 911" program for wireless providers, requiring cell phone providers to ensure emergency operators can determine most callers' positions with 50 to 300 meters' accuracy, the report stated. Cell phones made or sold by the defendants that comply with this requirement allegedly infringe Emsat's patents, according to the complaint.

    A 7-Eleven representative declined to comment on the allegations to CSNews Online, saying the company had not yet been served with the lawsuit, and it typically doesn't speak publicly about litigation or pending litigation.

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