The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw the number of petitions for AIA review in November hold fairly steady at 111 (compared to October’s 128) as the US Supreme Court continued its review of the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) in Oil States v. Greene’s Energy Services, for which oral arguments were held on November 27. Among the NPEs targeted by petitions brought in November were publicly traded Quarterhill Inc. and Xperi Corporation, prolific litigant Brian Yates, and several privately held NPEs waging networking campaigns, including Alacritech, Inc.; Iridescent Networks, Inc.; Monument Patent Holdings, LLC; MyMail Ltd.; and Oyster Optics LLC. The PTAB also instituted trial in November for other IPRs against Alacritech and Quarterhill and for an IPR against Plectrum LLC. Final decisions issued by the Board in November include one in the automotive campaign waged by Paice LLC and in IPRs against InfoGation Corporation and VoIP-Pal.com, Inc., both of which saw their patents survive review.
On August 31, 2017, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap adopted the earlier recommendation of Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne that the portion of a motion, filed by AT&T, mounting an Alice challenge to claims of a patent asserted by Preferential Networks IP, LLC be denied. That same day, Preferential Networks filed a fourth lawsuit in the campaign, accusing T-Mobile (2:17-cv-00626) of infringement of the same patent through provision of “network throttling” mechanisms (e.g., restricting delivery of data to a user based on prior usage) within its network. The defendants in the campaign, begun last December, now include AT&T (AT&T Mobility, Cricket Wireless, New Cingular Wireless Services), Comcast, SoftBank Group (Boost Mobile, Sprint Spectrum, Virgin Mobile), and T-Mobile.
Monument Patent Holdings, LLC subsidiary Preferential Networks IP, LLC has filed a second suit asserting its bandwidth allocation patent (8,577,994). Softbank Group (Boost Mobile, Sprint Spectrum, Virgin Mobile) (2:17-cv-00197) joins AT&T (AT&T Mobility, Cricket Wireless, New Cingular Wireless Services) (2:16-cv-01374) as defendants in the campaign. The NPE accuses the carriers of infringement through “network throttling” mechanisms (e.g. restricting delivery of data to a user based on prior usage) within their networks. The new filing comes as the court considers an AT&T Rule 12 motion to dismiss under Alice.
Preferential Networks IP, LLC has become the seventh subsidiary of Monument Patent Holdings, LLC to launch litigation in the last quarter of the year by filing suit against AT&T (AT&T Mobility, Cricket Wireless, New Cingular Wireless Services) (2:16-cv-01374), apparently asserting a single patent (8,577,994) generally related to managing bandwidth allocation. (The complaint erroneously identifies the number of the patent-in-suit as “8,732,994”, entitled “Dipper Door Retarding Mechanism”, which does not match the description of the patent throughout the rest of the complaint.) The NPE accuses AT&T of infringement through “network throttling” mechanisms (e.g. restricting delivery of data to a user based on prior usage) within AT&T Mobile Internet and Cricket Mobile Internet.