The battle between VLSI Technology LLC and Intel has heated up for a third time. In October 2017, VLSI Technology, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, sued Intel in the Northern District of California (5:17-cv-056571) over eight patents, and in June 2018, the NPE opened up a second litigation front, suing Intel in the District of Delaware (1:18-cv-00966) over five more. Now, in the immediate wake of a mid-February order constructing claims in California and an Intel motion to stay the California action in light of multiple instituted trials in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings—and after the Delaware court last year refused to transfer the case before it to California—VLSI Technology has hit Intel a second time in Delaware (1:19-cv-00426), this case asserting six more patents from the NPE’s sizable portfolio of assets originating principally with from either Freescale, NXP, SigmaTel, or VLSI Technology, Inc.
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.
VLSI Technology LLC, an apparent affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, has filed another case against Intel (1:18-cv-00966), this one in Delaware, asserting five more patents, of multiple subject matters and originating from either Freescale, NXP, SigmaTel, or VLSI Technology, Inc. The new suit follows an October 2017 complaint in the Northern District of California asserting eight patents against a large number of Intel microprocessors, including Core i3, i5, and i7; Xeon E3, E5, and E7; and Atom microprocessors, as well as Stratix 10 Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and other products that incorporate Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (“EMIB”) technology. Now also accused of infringement are Intel products (1) containing Intel On-Chip System Fabric technology, (2) with a Power Control Unit (PCU) to compensate for Inverse Temperature Dependence “in an infringing manner”, (3) with metal dummy lines to reinforce regions under bond pads “in an infringing manner”, (4) that include an “infringing Management Engine” and a CPU that includes a memory controller, and (5) that supply an output supply voltage to a power gated circuit “in an infringing manner”.
Following InterDigital, Inc.’s announcement last month of its acquisition of Technicolor’s patent licensing business—a deal the company says will “extend its licensing program to new activities in the consumer electronics field”—assignments received from LG Electronics, and most recently, Huawei, were recorded with the USPTO. April has also seen another transfer from NXP Semiconductor to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC; transfers of more than 100 US patent assets from NXP to Fortress have been recorded to date.
VLSI Technology LLC has filed suit against Intel (3:17-cv-05671), asserting eight patents received either directly from NXP or from Freescale, which NXP acquired in December 2015. The plaintiff, an apparent affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, has targeted a large number of microprocessors, including Intel Core i3, i5, and i7; Xeon E3, E5, and E7; and Atom microprocessors, as well as Stratix 10 Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and other products that incorporate Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge (“EMIB”) technology.