A week following Apple’s early February declaratory judgment (DJ) complaint against Fundamental Innovation Systems International LLC (FISI) in the Northern District of California, the NPE has brought a separate infringement suit (2:19-cv-00048), asserting five of the 12 patents-in-suit in Apple’s DJ. FISI’s complaint, filed in the Eastern District of Texas on February 11, targets a similar list of products, including certain charging adapters, mobile devices, wireless earbuds, Bluetooth speakers, and wearables, but also adding certain Mac laptops (the “Macbook Pro 4th Gen, Macbook 8, Macbook 9, Macbook 10 and Macbook Air 8”). The patents asserted are a subset of hundreds acquired from BlackBerry in late 2015 and include patents previously litigated by FISI in cases against Huawei, LG Electronics (LGE), and Samsung (each of which subsequently took licenses to the FISI patents, according to the NPE), as well as ZTE (which was sued in early 2017 and remains active in litigation).
Apple has brought a declaratory judgment (DJ) action against Fundamental Innovation Systems International LLC, an NPE with active campaigns in the US and Europe, and its corporate parent, Fundamental Innovation Systems International Holdings LLC (collectively, “FISI”). Apple’s DJ complaint (3:19-cv-00638), filed on February 5 in the Northern District of California, seeks a judgment of noninfringement for three categories of products that include certain adapters, mobile devices, and wearables. The 12 patents-in-suit originated with BlackBerry and include a group of USB charging patents that FISI has asserted in a campaign hitting Huawei, LG Electronics (LGE), Samsung, and ZTE. They were among the roughly 200 patent assets that BlackBerry assigned to FISI in a late 2015 transaction—a multi-million dollar deal, according to public records, that was embroiled in strife and gamesmanship.
In December 2016, Fundamental Innovation Systems International LLC (FISI) began targeting mobile device manufacturers with a series of Texas lawsuits asserting USB charging patents acquired from BlackBerry in late 2015. As FISI’s litigation proceeds in the US, documents recently filed in the District Court of Mannheim now indicate that the German leg of the NPE’s campaign also remains active, with hearings held earlier this month in cases against Samsung and electronics retailers Cyberport GmbH and notebooksbilliger.de AG. Other filings show that the asserted patents have been targeted in a variety of invalidity proceedings, both in Germany and before the European Patent Office (EPO).