Veraseal LLC, an affiliate of patent monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), has added cases against Costco (2:17-cv-00713) and Walgreen (2:17-cv-00723) to the campaign that it began in July with a suit filed against Wal-Mart. All three cases concern a single patent generally related to certain kinds of containers, with the defendants accused of infringement through the sale of bottled water products: Costco, through the sale of Kirkland Signature water products (apparently bottled by Niagara Bottling); Walgreen, through Crystal Geyser products (a subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Otsuka Holdings); and Wal-Mart, through the sale of, e.g., Poland Spring Water. Bericap and Closure Systems International (CSI) have filed unopposed motions to intervene in the Wal-Mart case, indicating that they indirectly provide technology targeted by Veraseal (CSI through Niagara Bottling).
Veraseal LLC, an affiliate of patent monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC (IPVal), has filed suit against Wal-Mart (2:17-cv-00527) over a patent (6,041,953) generally related to certain kinds of containers. The NPE accuses Wal-Mart of infringement through the sale of “containers with removable closures”, giving as an example the plastic bottles used for Poland Spring Water, made by a subsidiary of Nestle. Veraseal names as defendants Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC (both Delaware corporations based in Arkansas), pleading proper venue based principally on the presence of multiple Wal-Mart stores throughout Texas, including in the Eastern District.
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.