The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw activity in August 2018 involving a variety of frequent litigants. This included petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against two NPEs controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, INVT SPE LLC and Uniloc 2017 LLC, the latter of which has in recent months cofiled a barrage of lawsuits with subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). The PTAB also instituted trial in August for IPRs against Uniloc 2017 and some of its campaign coplaintiffs, and in an IPR against an NPE controlled by patent attorney Brian Yates, whose US litigation has waned as he pursues a new patent licensing initiative through his company iPEL, Inc. Finally, the PTAB issued final decisions in August for IPRs against Uniloc, Empire IP LLC, and Quarterhill Inc.
Last Monday, the US Supreme Court’s TC Heartlanddecision returned a key portion of the patent venue statue, one that allows infringement suits to be brought where a defendant corporation “resides”, to its prior interpretation: such a defendant “resides” only in its state of incorporation. Three days later, two February cases filed in Delaware by Inventergy, Inc. and controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, one each against Apple and HTC, were voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. Fortress refiled those two suits, accusing Apple (2:17-cv-03738) and HTC (2:17-cv-03740) of infringing the same seven mobile telecommunications patents (6,466,563; 6,611,676; 6,760,590; 7,206,587; 7,760,815; 7,764,711; 7,848,439), but this time in New Jersey. Fortress did so through an entity (INVT SPE LLC) that it had created in March and with much more specific allegations supporting its contention that venue is proper in New Jersey.
Following a restructuring agreement signed in the fourth quarter of last year, publicly traded NPE Inventergy Global, Inc. says it has given Fortress Investment Group LLC sole discretion over the monetization of nearly 750 telecommunications patents. The announcement follows Inventergy’s launch in February of a new campaign targeting mobile telecommunications patents—its first litigation in just over a year.
A couple of months after amending its October 2014 agreement with Fortress Investment Group LLC, Inventergy, Inc. has kicked off its first litigation campaign to assert patents that it received from Panasonic in December 2013. Two new cases, one each against Apple (1:17-cv-00196) and HTC (1:17-cv-00200), allege infringement of seven patents (6,466,563; 6,611,676; 6,760,590; 7,206,587; 7,760,815; 7,764,711; 7,848,439) through the manufacture and sale of mobile phones and tablets that use the mandatory portions of various mobile communications standards. Inventergy’s publicly traded parent (Inventergy Global, Inc.) has indicated in SEC filings that, under the “Restructuring Agreement”, Fortress has “the sole discretion to make any and all decisions relating to [Inventergy’s] patents and patent monetization activities” with certain exclusions.