TransData Doubles Smart Meter Suits as Patent Enforcement Heads East

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In a previous post, I wrote about Texas smart meter company TransData‘s patent infringement suit against CoServ, a Texas utility.

TransData recently extended its patent enforcement activity from Texas in an easterly direction through the southeastern United States, filing complaints against utilities in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

The targets are the Alabama Power Company (TransData-AlabamaPower_Complaint), the Georgia Power Company (TransData-GeorgiaPower_Complaint), and the Mississippi Power Company (TransData-MissPower_Complaint).

Each complaint asserts U.S. Patents Nos. 6,181,294 (’294 Patent), 6,462,713 (’713 Patent) and 6,903,699 (’699 Patent), which relate to antenna and wireless communication devices for use with electric meters.

The ’294, ’713 and ’699 Patents are related patents which trace back to an original 1998 filing date. They describe early solutions for wireless transmission of electrical consumption data.

In particular, the patents are directed to electric meters (100) and an antenna (170, 270) for use with the electric meters. The antenna includes antenna elements (172, 174, 272, 274) located within a dielectric housing (120, 220) and a balance circuit (176, 276).

The balance circuit (176, 276) mechanically supports the antenna elements (172, 174, 272, 274) so the antenna elements can cooperate and act as a dipole.

According to the patents’ specification:

The present invention . . . introduces the broad concept of outfitting an electric meter with an internal, wireless communications antenna, allowing the electric meter circuitry within the meter to communicate via a data network wirelessly couplable thereto.

According to the complaints, the devices that infringe or may infringe the asserted patents are Sensus iCon electric meters, Elster Alpha A3 and REX electric meters, and meters with SmartSynch wireless modules.

With these three new complaints, there are now at least six pending TransData infringement suits involving the same patents. In addition to the CoServ case, the new complaints list two other cases in the Eastern District of Texas against CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at elane@luce.com.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

2 Comments

  1. these meters should be called murder meters.im so sick since installation there are no words.im in beaverton,oregon.these meters are killing me and my son.please see smartmeterdangers.org

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