Hypermedia Navigation LLC, an affiliate of monetization firm IPValuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), has sued Alphabet (Google) (4:18-cv-06137) over the manner in which various Google websites, apps, and/or services (YouTube, Google Images, Google Play Music, Google Video, Google Play Movies, the Google mobile app, and Android TV) display and offer navigation between multiple media elements (including videos, audio files, and/or images). In its newest complaint, the NPE asserts 11 of a 16-member family, 13 of which have been at issue in this campaign. Facebook is the only other active defendant after dismissals with prejudice in earlier cases against Microsoft and Verizon (Yahoo).
Hypermedia Navigation LLC, an affiliate of monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), first filed suit in the Eastern District of Texas in January 2017, against Yahoo. After agreeing to a post-TC Heartland transfer of the Yahoo case to the Northern District of California, the NPE filed a mid-September case against Microsoft, and now it has added a Northern District of California case against Facebook (4:17-cv-05383). Hypermedia Navigation has asserted a total of nine patents from a 13-member family, all generally related to organizing and presenting media and information that a user requests online. The defendants are accused of infringement through provision of their general and/or video search features.
Hypermedia Navigation LLC, an affiliate of monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC (IPVal), has added a suit against Microsoft (2:17-cv-00647) to the campaign that it began against Verizon (Yahoo) in January of this year. The Yahoo complaint asserts eight patents from a family of 13, the Microsoft complaint adding a ninth from the same family, all generally related to organizing and presenting media and information that a user requests online. Yahoo’s general search engine and video and music search features are at issue, as are Bing’s search and video search engines. The new complaint comes as Yahoo has refiled an earlier motion challenging the eight patents at issue against it as patent-ineligibly drawn, under Alice, to the abstract idea of “organizing and presenting information—an idea as old as the library”.
Since the US Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, RPX has seen an upswing in venue-related filings by both plaintiffs and defendants—with indications that some NPEs may be throwing in the towel on Texas, while others are seemingly digging in. Defendants have also begun to adapt their defensive strategies, asserting more comprehensive interpretations of the patent venue statute and proactively maintaining their right to bring venue challenges down the road.
At a scheduling conference held on May 31, 2017 before District Judge Rodney S. Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas, plaintiff Hypermedia Navigation LLC, an affiliate of monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC, and defendant Yahoo, nearing acquisition by Verizon, indicated that a joint motion to transfer their case to the Northern District of California had been filed. Judge Gilstrap had that same day issued an order requiring the parties to address the effect, if any, of the US Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision on Yahoo’s April motion to dismiss for improper venue, itself already premised on a TC Heartland theory—that is, on a reading of the venue statutes that restricts corporate residence to the state of incorporation (Delaware for California-based Yahoo). On June 1, the court granted the joint motion, and four days later, the case (3:17-cv-03188) was opened in the Northern District.
During the second half of October 2016, RPX took note of eight patent transfers to NPEs. Assignees included two NPEs controlled by Monument Patent Holdings, LLC; a new NPE managed by IP Valuation Partners LLC; and an NPE with apparent ties to Nicolas J. Labbit. Several of the transacted patents have been asserted in litigation filed over the past month.