RPX Weekly Newsletter

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

On December 10, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued final written decisions cancelling all challenged claims in three inter partes reviews (IPRs) brought by Ericsson and RPX against two Iridescent Networks, Inc. patents. With these latest decisions, RPX has achieved a 91% per-petition success rate, and an 89% per-patent success rate, on merits-based final written decisions.

Patent Litigation Feature

Federal Circuit Rejects VirnetX Appeal of Apple IPR Victory Due to Issue Preclusion

The Federal Circuit has declined to overturn a pair of final decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that cancelled claims from a VirnetX Inc. patent in an Apple inter partes review (IPR), holding that the NPE’s appeal was barred by issue preclusion. VirnetX had challenged the Board’s June 2017 decisions that certain claims from the challenged patent were invalid as obvious in light of a single prior art reference. However, in a December 10 opinion, the Federal Circuit held that VirnetX was collaterally estopped from disputing whether that reference was prior art, since in March 2017 the court had summarily affirmed multiple PTAB decisions that the same reference qualified as a printed publication in several other Apple IPRs against related patents (2017-2490, 2017-2494). Issue preclusion was applicable here in the Rule 36 context, the court ruled, because those decisions necessarily turned on a single issue: whether the aforementioned reference counted as prior art for the challenged patent family. The Federal Circuit also declined to allow VirnetX to proceed based on an alternative, constitutional argument, holding that it had failed to properly preserve the issue.

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Patent Watch

2018 Patent Marketplace Trends: As IV Divestitures Continue, More IV Assets Appear in New NPE Campaigns

In April of last year, Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) announced that it was winding down its third Invention Investment Fund and had no plans for raising any additional funds in the future. With this shift came a move away from the purchase of additional patents and a refocus on the monetization of existing assets. Since then, IV has accelerated the sale of patents from its portfolio, including in transfers to a number of particularly prominent NPEs—in some cases, retaining a financial interest in the assertion of its divestitures. Drawing on proprietary RPX data, this article provides a visual mapping of IV’s patent transfers to NPEs since January 1, 2016, as well as an overview of litigation launched this year by the top NPE assignees of IV assets.

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Amid Its Flurry of New Campaigns, IP Edge Acquires a Portfolio from Siemens

Recently released USPTO records reveal an October 2018 transfer by Siemens to IP Edge LLC, involving 30 US patents and a number of foreign counterparts in Asia and Europe. Included in that transaction was a patent now being litigated by Rainey Circuit LLC, an apparent IP Edge affiliate, in a video messaging campaign launched in late November—the ninth new IP Edge campaign launched in the past six months.

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New Patent Litigation

Dynamic Data Continues to Assert Patents from Its Growing Portfolio

In a case filed last week, Dynamic Data Technologies, LLC accuses Intel (1:18-cv-01977) of infringing 11 of the patents that it recently acquired from MaxLinear. A range of products are accused, including processors that offer “Localized Adaptive Contrast Control” (a feature that controls the contrast in a displayed image); processors supporting “Multi-Media Samples (‘MMS’) Version 1.3”, which “contain[s] functionality for generating a mosaic program guide” (a digital TV guide feature that displays a single frame from a video program for each TV program entry); processors offering certain versions of Intel Quick Sync Video (a hardware-based video encoder) along with a GPU, with certain video encoding features at issue; Intel RealSense products, which include depth-sensing cameras; and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) Video Image Processing (VIP) Suite IP cores, with certain video processing features at issue. Intel joins a dozen other companies already defendants in the campaign, including Alphabet (Google), AMD, Apple, Amazon, Dell, HTC, LG Electronics, MediaTek, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Samsung.

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Complex Memory Campaign Hits Broadcom over ARM Architectures

Following a notice letter allegedly sent to Broadcom in April 2018 without response, Complex Memory LLC, an affiliate of Texas monetization firm IPValuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), has filed suit against the company in the Northern District of California (5:18-cv-07530). The complaint asserts five patents, generally pertaining to chip operation and memory access, already at issue in the campaign, with the NPE identifying certain Broadcom products “incorporating ARM Cortex-A9, A15, A57 and other ARM Cortex-A architectures” as the accused products, specifically identifying Broadcom’s “BCM5871X, BCM58712, BCM58713, BCM4707, BCM4708, BCM4709, BCM5301X, BCM11107, and BCM5862X families of products”. This new case joins suits filed in the latter half of 2018 against Renesas (in July), against Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (in September), and STMicro (in November).

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Sockeye Adds Two More Defendants to Video Casting Campaign

Sockeye Licensing TX LLC has added cases against Fujitsu (3:18-cv-07492) and VIZIO (8:18-cv-02148) to the suits naming Hisense, Panasonic, and Toshiba, separately filed in November. The same two patents, 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), are asserted in Sockeye’s two newest complaints. Fujitsu is accused of infringement through the provision of a wireless HDMI dongle (branded by Fujitsu as the “FUJITSU Wireless Display for HDMI” and identified in the complaint as “Fujitsu HDMI”) that supports media casting from a smartphone, including content from Netflix; VIZIO, of VIZIO SmartCast, its smart TV platform that allows media casting using Chromecast.

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