The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw the number of petitions for AIA review in November hold fairly steady at 111 (compared to October’s 128) as the US Supreme Court continued its review of the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) in Oil States v. Greene’s Energy Services, for which oral arguments were held on November 27. Among the NPEs targeted by petitions brought in November were publicly traded Quarterhill Inc. and Xperi Corporation, prolific litigant Brian Yates, and several privately held NPEs waging networking campaigns, including Alacritech, Inc.; Iridescent Networks, Inc.; Monument Patent Holdings, LLC; MyMail Ltd.; and Oyster Optics LLC. The PTAB also instituted trial in November for other IPRs against Alacritech and Quarterhill and for an IPR against Plectrum LLC. Final decisions issued by the Board in November include one in the automotive campaign waged by Paice LLC and in IPRs against InfoGation Corporation and VoIP-Pal.com, Inc., both of which saw their patents survive review.
Plectrum LLC has added eight more defendants to the litigation campaign that it began earlier this month, suing AT&T (4:17-cv-00120), Broadcom (4:17-cv-00121), Comcast (4:17-cv-00123), F5 Networks (4:17-cv-00124), NEC (4:17-cv-00125), Nokia (4:17-cv-00140), Oracle (4:17-cv-00141), and Verizon Wireless (Cellco) (4:17-cv-00126). Three networking patents (5,978,951; 6,205,149; 6,751,677) are at issue in the campaign, with all three asserted against every new defendant except F5, as well as against most of the existing defendants: Arista Networks, Brocade, Cisco, Extreme Networks, Fortinet, Huawei, and Juniper Networks. The ‘677 patent is the only patent asserted against F5, while only the ‘951 and ‘149 patents were asserted in the earlier complaint filed against Facebook. The patents-in-suit were assigned to Plectrum by HP Enterprise (HPE) in a September 2016 transaction that included at least three other networking patents (6,115,379; 6,172,980; 6,185,214), not asserted in the campaign.
A Texas NPE, Plectrum LLC, has kicked off a new litigation campaign with cases filed this past week against Arista Networks (4:17-cv-00076), Brocade (4:17-cv-00077), Cisco (4:17-cv-00078), Extreme Networks (4:17-cv-00079), Facebook (4:17-cv-00081), Fortinet (4:17-cv-00082), Huawei (4:17-cv-00083) and Juniper Networks (4:17-cv-00084). The complaints assert three networking patents (5,978,951; 6,205,149; 6,751,677) assigned to Plectrum by HP Enterprise (HPE) in a September 2016 transaction, recorded on December 12, that also included at least three other networking patents (6,115,379; 6,172,980; 6,185,214), not asserted in these new suits. The accused products are switches and routers for all three patents, with the defendants also accused of infringing the ‘677 patent through the provision of firewalls. All three patents are asserted against all defendants but Facebook, against which only the ‘951 and ‘149 patents are at issue. It would appear additional suits are to follow in the coming days, as Plectrum appears to be filing in alphabetical order, currently stopped at “j”.