RPX Weekly Newsletter

An Update on Patent Litigation, the Patent Marketplace, and New Cases

Monday, June 27, 2022

Top Insight

Vidal Announces New NHK-Fintiv Procedures to Rein In Discretionary Denials

Ever since USPTO Director Kathi Vidal’s April confirmation, stakeholders have watched closely for signs of how she would address concerns over the NHK-Fintiv rule—the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) practice of discretionarily denying institution in America Invents Act (AIA) reviews based on the status of parallel litigation. Vidal has now taken steps to limit this practice, issuing an interim guidance that in part seeks to mitigate the impact of one of the rule’s most hotly debated factors.

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Patent Litigation Feature

West Texas Jury Awards Modest Damages in Hierarchical Menu Navigation Campaign

Western District of Texas Judge Alan D. Albright has entered judgment based on a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs Caddo Systems, Inc., as patent owner, and exclusive licensee 511 Technologies, Inc. As widely reported, the damages ask at the trial’s outset was in the $30M neighborhood, but while the jury found all 17 tried claims (from six patents) infringed, the lump sum award against Microchip Technology came to just $235K in the end. A trio of May cases, filed in three other districts against LightInTheBox, Progress Software, and Texas Instruments, remain active in the campaign, as does a June suit against Jetbrains as well as an appeal from a dismissal of a suit against Siemens for lack of personal jurisdiction in the Northern District of Illinois (2022-1623).

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Patent Watch

With Several New NPEs Still Waiting in the Wings, DynaIP Opens Up Multiple Campaigns in June

Increasingly prolific monetization firm Dynamic IP Deals (d/b/a DynaIP) has been busy this month, so far opening up three campaigns—SmartWatch Mobileconcepts LLC focused on smartwatches, HALEY IP LLC on in-vehicle cameras, and WFR IP LLC on wireless earpieces and wearable piece products—and also filing several new cases via controlled plaintiff MISSED CALL LLC. The firm has filed dozens of new cases since the start of this year, and, having formed more than a handful of NPEs in Texas during the first half of 2022, DynaIP shows no signs of slowing down.

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New Patent Litigation

IDEAHUB's ImberaTek Files First Suit

ImberaTek, LLC, an Ideahub, Inc. subsidiary, has sued over patents that it acquired from GE Embedded Electronics (f/k/a Imbera Electronics) in early 2020. The defendant is Samsung (2:22-cv-00233), accused in an Eastern District of Texas complaint of infringing six of those patents through the provision of a variety of smartphones, tablets, and virtual reality headsets alleged to “include infringing processors and/or other semiconductor components, such as, for example, [Samsung’s] Exynos 7420 and Exynos 9810 system-on-chips (“SoC”), as well as power management integrated circuits embedding [Qualcomm’s] PMX55, PM8150C, PM8250, PM8350, and PM8350C”.

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Two Shall Become One . . . with New Allegations That Suggest That One Might Become Quite Large

InnoMemory, LLC has filed a round of suits that formally combine its formerly two litigation campaigns into one. The new defendants are “Rubric Inc.” (6:22-cv-00669), Wells Fargo (6:22-cv-00665), and USAA (6:22-cv-00671), each accused of infringing two patents through the use of computing devices that include a memory device that complies with industry standards (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, LPDDR3, LPDDR4, LPDDR4X, and LPDDR5) defined by JEDEC. In its complaints, InnoMemory identifies “exemplary vendors” for the accused devices (“including but not limited to, servers, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and automated teller machines”): “HP, Lenovo, Acer, IBM, Asus, Dell, NCR, and Diebold”.

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Zoom Video Sued in District of Kansas Complaint

Marble VOIP Partners LLC has filed a third complaint in the campaign that it initiated in January of this year, this one in the District of Kansas rather than in the Western District of Texas. Zoom Video Communications (2:22-cv-02247) is the defendant. The sole patent-in-campaign generally relates to using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to enable VoIP in applications, with infringement allegations in the new complaint targeting both Zoom Phone and Zoom Meetings.

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MIMO Research's Wireless Communications Campaign Keeps Growing

The litigation campaign of MIMO Research, LLC, steadily expanding since its start last month, has now ensnared LG Electronics (LGE) (6:22-cv-00668) and Texas Instruments (TI) (6:22-cv-00643), in the Western District of Texas, and Qorvo (5:22-cv-00075) and STMicro (5:22-cv-00077), in the Eastern District of Texas. The plaintiff has asserted seven wireless communications patents, in overlapping sets, across its now nine complaints, in which mobile devices and/or certain ultra-wideband (UWB) networking equipment are targeted.

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After Federal Circuit Remand, Image Processing Campaign Fires Back Up

VDPP LLC last sued Microsoft and Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) in December 2020, both cases filed in the Northern District of Illinois and both dismissed without prejudice in March 2021 after Central District of California Judge James V. Selna invalidated claims from three patents asserted against VIZIO for indefiniteness. However, in March 2022, the Federal Circuit reversed that ruling, remanding for further proceedings, in response to which VDPP sued Microsoft, in April 2022 in the Western District of Texas, and now Motorola Mobility (1:22-cv-03280), again in the Northern District of Illinois. The Microsoft case was dismissed earlier this month, while the new Motorola Mobility suit has been assigned to District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow.

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Acer Sued over LED-Backlit LCD Display Panels

Inventor-controlled SVV Technology Innovations, Inc. (d/b/a Lucent Optics) has continued its litigation pattern in June with three separate suits against Acer (6:22-cv-00639; 6:22-cv-00640; 6:22-cv-00641) in the Western District of Texas. The 13 asserted patents generally relate to films and structures that alter light passing through them, with the defendant accused of infringement through the provision of monitors and laptops that “utilize LED-backlit LCD display panels”. Since launching its sole litigation in February 2020, SVV Technology has sued four defendants, targeting the inclusion of certain display technologies in products ranging from smartphones to TVs.

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Ozmo Licensing Targets Dell over Support for Wi-Fi Direct

Dell (6:22-cv-00642) is the latest defendant to be added to the sole litigation campaign of Harfang IP Investment Corp plaintiff Ozmo Licensing LLC (f/k/a Sonic Wave LLC), launched in April 2021. The defendant is accused of infringing six wireless networking patents, one of which is newly asserted in litigation, through the provision of devices (i.e., computers, laptops, monitors, and tablets) that are compliant with the Wi-Fi Direct protocol.

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In Case You Missed It

Sole Active “Jumbo” NPE Campaign Jumps into Third Place

At its recent annual conference, RPX observed that a large portion of the peak NPE activity observed in 2010 through 2015 was due to “jumbo” litigation campaigns targeting dozens of defendants. For example, nearly one-fourth of all defendants added to NPE campaigns in 2011 were sued in a campaign that saw more than 30 defendants hit that year. Such campaigns are now rare—but not nonexistent. This past week, the only such “jumbo” campaign to launch since 2015 jumped into third place on the list of largest NPE campaigns ever, the seven companies sued (Aver Information, Dynacolor, Dynacom Communications, Fuho Technology, GeoVision, and Logipix) bringing the total number of campaign defendants just shy of 250.

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Down Goes Another Large Damages Award

A member of the federal judiciary failed to recuse himself from a case after discovering that the actions of his spouse created an interest in one of the litigants in that case. A new opinion has reversed that failure to recuse, holding that vacatur of all subsequent rulings must follow “perhaps most significantly” because letting stand any rulings made after the interest become known would risk “undermining the public’s confidence in the judicial process”. Here, the interest arose from the spouse’s purchase of roughly $5K in Cisco stock, the subsequent vacatur wiping a multi-billion dollar judgment in favor of Centripetal Networks off the books.

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