The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw activity in August 2018 involving a variety of frequent litigants. This included petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against two NPEs controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, INVT SPE LLC and Uniloc 2017 LLC, the latter of which has in recent months cofiled a barrage of lawsuits with subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). The PTAB also instituted trial in August for IPRs against Uniloc 2017 and some of its campaign coplaintiffs, and in an IPR against an NPE controlled by patent attorney Brian Yates, whose US litigation has waned as he pursues a new patent licensing initiative through his company iPEL, Inc. Finally, the PTAB issued final decisions in August for IPRs against Uniloc, Empire IP LLC, and Quarterhill Inc.
With the recent imposition of sanctions in a set of cases before District Judge Rodney Gilstrap no deterrent, another NPE managed by Nicolas J. Labbit, and therefore apparently controlled by California attorney Brian Yates, has kicked off a new litigation campaign. Selective Signals, LLC has filed separate suits against Fortinet (6:17-cv-00064), Palo Alto Networks (6:17-cv-00065), Rohde & Schwartz (6:17-cv-00066), and WatchGuard Technologies (6:17-cv-00067), each of which asserts a single patent (8,111,629) not seen before in litigation. The ‘629 patent generally relates to identifying whether passing packets belong to a particular media session, and the complaints target the defendants’ network security appliances.
In the first half of May 2016, RPX saw nine patent transfers to NPEs recorded with the USPTO. At least three of those transactions involved patents that have already been asserted in litigation against operating companies.
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