In January 2018, shortly after securing $2.4M in debt financing from a hedge fund, Inventergy Global, Inc. (through affiliate Inventergy LBS LLC) opened up a new campaign, targeting GPS tracking devices. Perhaps feeling the pressure of the steep repayment demands of its deal with TCA’s Global Credit Master Fund, Inventergy recently escalated its litigation efforts, filing seven new cases in the past six weeks. Each of the new cases asserts at least one of three related patents generally concerning communication with a tracking device; the patents were developed by GTX Corp, a self-described “pioneer in the GPS wearable tech industry”.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw activity in August 2018 involving a variety of frequent litigants. This included petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against two NPEs controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, INVT SPE LLC and Uniloc 2017 LLC, the latter of which has in recent months cofiled a barrage of lawsuits with subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). The PTAB also instituted trial in August for IPRs against Uniloc 2017 and some of its campaign coplaintiffs, and in an IPR against an NPE controlled by patent attorney Brian Yates, whose US litigation has waned as he pursues a new patent licensing initiative through his company iPEL, Inc. Finally, the PTAB issued final decisions in August for IPRs against Uniloc, Empire IP LLC, and Quarterhill Inc.
RPX took notice, among the USPTO assignment records made available during the first half of July, of a patent transfer involving over 160 assets to Fortress Investment Group LLC. Other assignees of note included IP Edge LLC, the most prolific patent plaintiff in 2017 thus far, and Rondevoo Technologies, Inc., which appears to be on the precipice of launching its first litigation campaign.
Last Monday, the US Supreme Court’s TC Heartlanddecision returned a key portion of the patent venue statue, one that allows infringement suits to be brought where a defendant corporation “resides”, to its prior interpretation: such a defendant “resides” only in its state of incorporation. Three days later, two February cases filed in Delaware by Inventergy, Inc. and controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, one each against Apple and HTC, were voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. Fortress refiled those two suits, accusing Apple (2:17-cv-03738) and HTC (2:17-cv-03740) of infringing the same seven mobile telecommunications patents (6,466,563; 6,611,676; 6,760,590; 7,206,587; 7,760,815; 7,764,711; 7,848,439), but this time in New Jersey. Fortress did so through an entity (INVT SPE LLC) that it had created in March and with much more specific allegations supporting its contention that venue is proper in New Jersey.
Following a restructuring agreement signed in the fourth quarter of last year, publicly traded NPE Inventergy Global, Inc. says it has given Fortress Investment Group LLC sole discretion over the monetization of nearly 750 telecommunications patents. The announcement follows Inventergy’s launch in February of a new campaign targeting mobile telecommunications patents—its first litigation in just over a year.
Finjan Holdings, Inc. and Inventergy Global, Inc., two publicly traded NPEs with active litigation against RPX members, have announced starkly different 2016 financial results. Yet, while the NPEs currently have contrasting financials, both appear to be heading towards steady litigation activity in 2017.
A couple of months after amending its October 2014 agreement with Fortress Investment Group LLC, Inventergy, Inc. has kicked off its first litigation campaign to assert patents that it received from Panasonic in December 2013. Two new cases, one each against Apple (1:17-cv-00196) and HTC (1:17-cv-00200), allege infringement of seven patents (6,466,563; 6,611,676; 6,760,590; 7,206,587; 7,760,815; 7,764,711; 7,848,439) through the manufacture and sale of mobile phones and tablets that use the mandatory portions of various mobile communications standards. Inventergy’s publicly traded parent (Inventergy Global, Inc.) has indicated in SEC filings that, under the “Restructuring Agreement”, Fortress has “the sole discretion to make any and all decisions relating to [Inventergy’s] patents and patent monetization activities” with certain exclusions.