In February of this year, the USPTO issued to Wildcat Licensing WI LLC two patents that the NPE obtained based on reissue applications filed after their earlier predecessors were invalidated through inter partes review (IPR). Wildcat Licensing WI began litigating those prior patents in May 2013 in a campaign that appeared to close in December 2016 when the Federal Circuit affirmed the cancellation of all challenged claims through two IPRs brought by district court defendant Johnson Controls. That closure, however, has proved only temporary; Wildcat Licensing WI has now rebooted its campaign, filing suit against BMW (1:19-cv-00834), Faurecia (1:19-cv-00839), Fiat Chrysler (FCA US, FCA Italy) (1:19-cv-00840), Ford (1:19-cv-00842), GM (1:19-cv-00843), Lear (1:19-cv-00845), Magna International (1:19-cv-00846), and TATA (Jaguar Land Rover) (1:19-cv-00844), and Volkswagen (Audi) (1:19-cv-00833). The two asserted reissue patents are described as “encompass[ing] core technology in the field of assembling articles of manufacture”; infringement allegations focus on the provision of vehicles and automotive components manufactured using methods that “perform error free fastening or error-proofing automated assembly”.
The dismissal in late August 2018 of a case filed by Sockeye Licensing TX LLC against Lenovo ended that NPE’s last round of suits, filed in the Central District of California. Sockeye has now begun another round, this one comprising cases filed against Panasonic (1:18-cv-01750) and Toshiba (1:18-cv-01749) in the District of Delaware, over Blu-ray players that allow playback on a connected TV of video received on a smartphone, and against Hisense (1:18-cv-05129) in the Northern District of Georgia, over Hisense Smartcast, which facilitates similar functionality. At issue in the new complaints are two patents from a five-member family generally related to the use of a wireless communications device (e.g., a cell phone) to control and provide network connectivity to standard desktop peripherals (e.g., a monitor and keyboard).