District Court Denies Gogo, SmartSky Motions

 - September 27, 2022, 11:31 AM
The legal dispute between Gogo Business Aviation and SmartSky Networks over their 5G air-to-ground connectivity systems continues. (Photo: SmartSky Networks)

In a ruling published yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued a memorandum opinion and orders denying motions by both Gogo Business Aviation and SmartSky Networks. The two companies have disputed each other’s plans for the implementation of their 5G air-to-ground connectivity networks.

The ruling denied Gogo’s motion to strike improper reply arguments. The motion also denied SmartSky’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented Gogo from “making, using, offering to sell, or selling the Gogo 5G system pending the resolution of the patent infringement suit brought by SmartSky against Gogo,” according to a Gogo statement.

The memorandum option is not available as it was filed under seal, and the two parties are now required to “meet and confer and, no later than Oct. 3, 2022, submit a joint proposed redacted version, accompanied by a supporting memorandum, detailing how, under applicable law, the court may approve any requested redactions,” according to the ruling. If the two parties can’t agree on this, the entire opinion will be unsealed.

“This ruling supports our frequently stated position that Gogo is not infringing any valid SmartSky patent,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo chairman and CEO. “We will continue to vigorously defend Gogo against SmartSky’s meritless patent infringement claims."

SmartSky filed the patent infringement complaint against Gogo in February. The lawsuit alleges that Gogo “could not have created the forthcoming Gogo 5G system without using SmartSky’s patented technology.”

In a statement about the preliminary injunction, SmartSky pointed out that the ruling still allows its “underlying case to continue.” It added, “SmartSky maintains the utmost confidence in the merits of its underlying patent infringement lawsuit against Gogo and will continue to vigorously defend its patent holder rights.

“This decision does not change the reality that Gogo is illegally using SmartSky technology while ignoring potential damage to its customers, who may be left with inoperable systems when the case is ultimately decided in favor of SmartSky.”