RPX Weekly Newsletter

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

Monday, July 22, 2019

Patent Litigation Feature

Discovery over Patent Transfer Agreements Roils Cypress Lake Campaign

Late last month, District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas granted a sealed motion, brought by defendants Dell and Samsung, to compel NPE-plaintiff Cypress Lake Software, Inc. to produce a set of communications that it had logged as attorney-client privileged and/or protected as attorney work product prepared in anticipation of litigation. Cypress had sought to prevent production of its communications with Robert Paul Morris, the inventor named on the patents that the NPE has been asserting in litigation since 2015; Sitting Man, LLC, a Delaware entity under Morris’s control; and Mirai Ventures, LLC, a Texas entity that, according to the court’s order, entered into an October 30, 2015 “Financial Backer(s) Agreement . . . whereby Mirai agreed to provide funding and patent-prosecution services to Sitting Man in exchange for a portion of any proceeds from the enforcement, sale, or licensing of the patents”. Judge Kernodle’s order comes as the Texas court has been pelted with filings over multiple issues, as a separate portion of the campaign—against HP and ZTE—may also be ramping up in the Northern District of California after a transfer there, and as Cypress has filed a fourth case against Samsung (6:19-cv-00328) in the Eastern District of Texas, this time targeting the Korean parent entity itself.


Patent Watch

Quarterhill Announces Acquisition of Adaptive Streaming Portfolio

Wi-LAN Inc. (the licensing arm of Quarterhill Inc.) announced on Friday that its Adaptive Streaming Inc. subsidiary has acquired a patent portfolio from Vidiator Enterprises, “a pioneer in the delivery of audio and video data”. According to Wi-LAN, the portfolio relates to adaptive bitrate streaming (also known as adaptive streaming), which it touts as “the primary way in which video is delivered over the Internet today”.


June 2019 RPX Acquisitions Update

RPX completed a number of deals in June 2019 on behalf of its patent risk management network. The acquisitions occurred within the following market sectors: Consumer Electronics and PCs; E-Commerce and Software; Financial Services; and Networking.


New Patent Litigation

University of New Mexico’s IP Arm Files a Second Case over Patents Developed by ITRI, This Time Suing Apple

Its first case in this campaign delayed by service on TP-Link through the Hague Convention, STC.UNM, the intellectual property enforcement arm for the Board of Reagents of the University of New Mexico (UNM), has added a second case, this one against Apple (6:19-cv-00428). The same three data transmission patents, acquired from Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), are at issue, with infringement allegations trained on a long list of products “adapted to operate in and with wireless telecommunications networks that at least comply with the requirements of the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard”, including certain iPhones (from iPhone 6 onward), iPads, iPod Touches, MacBooks, iMacs, MacPros, and MacMinis, as well as Apple TV and Apple TV 4K.


Impact Engine Sues Google over Its Advertisement Platform

Impact Engine, Inc. has filed suit against Alphabet (Google) (3:19-cv-01301), alleging that the tech giant has infringed all six members of a family of patents generally related to a “multimedia communication system” that comprises a template repository and an interactive “project builder”. The Southern District of California complaint alleges multiple interactions between the two companies beginning over a decade ago, during which Impact Engine purportedly disclosed its “proprietary Flash Ad Engine” and demonstrated “a Google-specific prototype” built upon request and after which Google released its Display Ad Builder product. The plaintiff accuses Google of infringement through the provision of its advertisement platform (e.g., Google Ads, AdSense, AdWords, Display Ad Builder, Display Network, Doubleclick, Marketing Platform, and Web Designer).


Network Security Campaign, in Which IV Retains an Interest, Expands from New York, Texas, and California into Georgia

FireNet Technologies, LLC, an affiliate of Georgia-based IP Investments Group LLC (d/b/a IPinvestments Group), a monetization firm controlled by Michael W. McLaughlin, has expanded yet again the campaign that it began last summer with separate suits filed against KEMP Technologies and Fujitsu. The NPE accuses Citrix (1:19-cv-03199) of infringing the same four network security patents already at issue in the campaign, through the provision of Citrix Application Delivery Controller (formerly NetScaler ADC) networking products and services, calling out “NetScaler ADC (also referred to as Citrix ADC) products, including hardware appliances (MPX and SDX), software implementations (VPX and CPX), and cloud implementations” specifically.


Sisvel Hits ZTE, Amends as to Prior Defendants, in Networking Campaign

Earlier this month, Sisvel International S.A. (d/b/a Sisvel Group) added a District of Delaware case against Dell to the networking campaign that it began in that district in June with suits against six other defendants. The original complaints in the June cases asserted five former Nokia patents, but subsequent amended complaints added accusations as to seven former BlackBerry patents (or a subset of those patents). Dell was hit with all 12 patents at once, as is the situation with Sisvel’s new suit against ZTE (3:19-cv-01694), filed in Northern District of Texas by Sisvel and a sister subsidiary 3G Licensing S.A., to which Sisvel pleads that it assigned the former BlackBerry patents on July 11, 2019. ZTE is accused of infringement through the provision of the Axon, Blade, Grand, and Nubia series smartphones.


QPRC’s M-Red Expands Litigation over Portfolio Acquired from IV

After District Judge Rodney Gilstrap issued letters rogatory to effect service on the first two defendants in its campaign, Taiwanese companies Acer and MediaTek, M-Red Inc. has expanded that campaign with another Eastern District of Texas suit. The third defendant is Panasonic (2:19-cv-00251), which M-Red accuses of infringing the same three patents already in suit, as well as a new one. With the three related patents, broadly directed to measuring and/or adjusting for temperature and voltage fluctuations in an integrated circuit (IC), the NPE targets Panasonic’s provision of products that “utilize on-chip temperature sensors for power management” such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 602A, 820A, and or 820 systems-on-chips (SOCs), including the Ford SYNC 3 Infotainment System. As to the newly asserted patent, which is generally related to temperature testing an IC device that contains a solder ball array connection, M-Red targets the provision of certain ICs or products incorporating ICs including the Panasonic MN2WS0270, MN34120, MN34230, MN34440PL, MN34595, MW39781, and MW39783 SoCs.


In New Smartphone Camera Suit, Inventor-Controlled Entity Shifts from Licensor to Plaintiff

Inventor-controlled Cutting Edge Vision LLC has filed its first lawsuit, accusing BBK Electronics (OnePlus Technology) (1:19-cv-04753) of infringing three patents through the provision of certain smartphones, including the OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, and OnePlus 7 Pro. The patents, generally related to “smart cameras”, including the use of voice recognition and automatic upload features, are part of a 13-member family held by Cutting Edge Vision, a portfolio that the plaintiff alleges has been licensed to “four of the world’s leading camera and mobile device manufacturers”: LG Electronics, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony.


New Campaign Targets OAuth 2.0 Protocol for Website User Authentication

TransactionSecure, L.L.C. has launched a second litigation campaign over a decade after its first one ended. The Utah plaintiff accuses DeviantArt (2:19-cv-05836), Fitbit (3:19-cv-04075), and Stripe (3:19-cv-04052) of infringing a single patent generally related to authenticating a user’s identity using a “trusted entity” with a repository that holds the user’s personal information. (TransactionSecure also filed a case, since removed from PACER, over the same patent against Microsoft (Github) (3:19-cv-04050).) At issue in each case is the defendant’s use of the OAuth 2.0 protocol, a user authentication framework, on its website.