After patent victory filled 2015, GTL looking towards bright patent future

by Steve Hodge – Senior VP – Research and Development

In 2015, Global Tel*Link (GTL) experienced unparalleled success against industry rival Securus Technologies in front of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Utilizing a relatively new patent review system established under the America Invents Act (AIA), GTL successfully challenged six out of seven Securus patents and saw the dismissal of 165 patent claims – effectively crippling the core of Securus’ patent portfolio.

GTL’s aggressive, three-year patent campaign against Securus is certainly bearing fruit, but as industry veterans (such as myself) are well aware, GTL will have to be vigilant given Securus’ decade-long history of predatory patent litigation. GTL has frequently been the target of Securus’ “sue and settle” business model, however with the introduction of an expanded grant opposition program in the AIA, we have turned the tables and are standing up for reasonable competition in the ICS marketplace. In fact, GTL has already filed 20 Inter Partes Review (IPR) applications with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) against 17 different Securus patents.

To date, the PTAB has ruled to completely invalidate four of Securus’ patents (including the “crown jewel” ‘167 VOIP patent) and dismissed nearly all of the claims from the other challenged patents. The PTAB has invalidated or rendered useless all of the substantive content from each of Securus’ challenged patents. Additionally, the PTAB concluded that Securus had misled patent examiners to obtain patents. If that weren’t enough, Securus misled the market about the capabilities of its products, filed duplicative patents to inflate the size of its patent portfolio, and attempted to patent products already in the marketplace, like Apple’s FaceTime.

Despite GTL’s overwhelming victories, Securus incredulously continues to claim that they are winning the “patent war.” Their strained attempts at contorting terrible losses into victories notwithstanding, this behavior only serves to underscore what this process has revealed: Securus’ patent portfolio is a façade, a carefully constructed house of cards that has been used against our industry for years.

Securus can continue clamoring about their patent superiority and challenging GTL to childish “bake-offs”, but at the end of day their “technology” – a hodge podge cobbled from parts of 19 other companies they’ve bought during the past several years – can’t be compared to the integrated software and hardware developed “at home” by GTL engineers for decades. Meanwhile, GTL has just concluded a record year of its own patent activity, growth that is a reflection of the in-house innovation behind GTL’s market leading technology.

Ultimately, GTL’s advantage over Securus is not just a result of challenges to Securus’ patent portfolio, but rather a reflection of the diversity of our technology portfolio and the ingenuity of GTL software engineering. This is not lost on the hundreds of facilities that have chosen to utilize GTL’s advanced product lines. From the IQ family series to our advanced Offender Management System (OMS), GTL’s technology represents the industry standard against which all others are measured.

GTL will continue to fight Securus’ brazen attempts to steamroll the industry and I’m pleased to note that it has been more than three years since Securus has filed a patent suit against anther industry player. It would seem their days of “sue and settle” are over. There are a number of other IPRs awaiting final decisions from the PTAB and GTL expects final decisions in all of these cases over the next 14 months. We are confident that the PTAB will take the same critical eye to the remaining IPRs and we will experience the sweeping success that we have with our initial IPRs. Through IPRs and various other methods, GTL aims to challenge Securus and promote an industry atmosphere conducive to technology development and innovation.

For more information on GTL or any of its products, contact a company representative today.

February 1, 2016 / Blog

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After patent victory filled 2015, GTL looking towards bright patent future

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.