Saint Lawrence Communications LLC has filed suit against Amazon (2:19-cv-00027), asserting a familiar set of five data compression patents in a new complaint that targets a long list of devices supporting the Adaptive Multi-Rate-Wideband (AMR-WB) audio codec for speech. The accused products include the Fire Phone, various Fire TV products, various Kindle Android tablets, and various Echo and Alexa products (including those running Amazon’s Android-based Fire OS). Saint Lawrence, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corporation, pleads ownership of the patents asserted; last August, EVS Codec Technologies, LLC—claiming the exclusive right to grant licenses covering products practicing the Enhanced Voice Standard (EVS) for voice services over LTE/4G networks—asserted the same five patents in suits filed against Huawei, LG Electronics (LGE), and ZTE. The Saint Lawrence Communications complaint acknowledges a “prior settlement and license agreement” with Amazon but further alleges that “Amazon is not currently licensed to the patents asserted in this Complaint with respect to the activities accused of infringement”.
Recently formed Texas NPE EVS Codec Technologies, LLC has kept a portfolio of wideband audio patents in litigation, filing suit against Huawei (2:18-cv-00346), LG Electronics (LGE) (2:18-cv-00343), and ZTE (2:18-cv-00344) on nearly the same day that saw the last case in a prior campaign closed. The defendants are accused of infringement through the provision of mobile devices supporting the Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) codec via Ultra HD Voice compatibility. LGE and ZTE were both defendants in the prior campaign as to devices supporting a predecessor of Ultra HD Voice/EVS (the AMR-WB, or HD Voice, codec) waged by Saint Lawrence Communications LLC, a subsidiary of publicly traded NPE Acacia Research Corporation. Acacia recently announced a significant shakeup in both its executive team and board of directors.