In October 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continued to see petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against Native American tribes following the Federal Circuit’s July ruling that the tribes’ sovereign immunity does not apply in the context of IPR, including a petition brought against the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe over patents at issue in the campaign waged by SRC Labs, LLC. That petition was filed shortly before the Federal Circuit declined to revisit its sovereign immunity opinion in late October. Also in October, the PTAB instituted trial in four IPRs against a subsidiary of Quarterhill Inc., which just reported a significant drop in quarterly patent licensing revenue over the previous year. Meanwhile, October saw a number of notable final decisions, including one issued in an IPR against a subsidiary of General Patent Corporation.
A jury in the Southern District of California has awardedWi-LAN Inc. (WiLAN) $145.1M in damages, finding that Apple has infringed two wireless communications patents through provision of certain models of the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone SE. The asserted patents are among more than 50 that have been litigated in WiLAN’s wireless networking campaign, which has seen multiple trials and a number of settlements since its inception in 2007.