In October 2018, a battle over standing erupted in litigation between Apple and Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). Apple had moved to dismiss four of Uniloc’s cases against it after learning of a complex set of agreements between the NPE and Fortress Investment Group LLC, arguing that Uniloc’s purported “defaults” under those agreements had deprived Uniloc of standing by shifting sufficient rights in the asserted patents to Fortress. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California denied that motion in January, holding in part that Fortress had shown through its conduct that Uniloc had cured any defaults that had occurred. Apple has now moved for reconsideration of that order, asserting that at least one of Uniloc’s defaults could not have been excused under the evidence presented and that the purported “cure” was really an implied waiver, which would be barred under the relevant agreements—under which any waiver by Fortress must be in writing. Uniloc, meanwhile, has asked the court to roll back certain redactions in Apple’s motion, arguing that only a narrower set of contractual terms between the NPE and Fortress needed to be withheld.
A contentious battle over standing has continued to develop in litigation between Apple and Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). Earlier this month, District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California rejected Apple’s argument that Uniloc’s purported “defaults” under a complex set of agreements with Fortress Investment Group LLC had deprived Uniloc of standing by shifting sufficient rights in the asserted patents to Fortress. Apple has now sought permission to move for reconsideration, asserting that Judge Alsup erred by adopting an argument not briefed by the parties and by finding that Uniloc had cured any defaults that had existed. Meanwhile, a related dispute over confidentiality has also heated up in the wake of Judge Alsup’s mid-January order that Uniloc could not justify the broad withholding of details about its agreements with Fortress. Uniloc has now filed a motion for reconsideration of that decision, seeking a much more limited set of redactions—in the process, revealing new details about the evolving Uniloc-Fortress relationship.
District Judge William Alsup in the Northern District of California has ruled on a motion questioning whether Uniloc Luxembourg S.a.r.l. (f/k/a Uniloc Luxembourg S.A.) and Uniloc USA, Inc., subsidiaries of Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited, had standing to sue at the time that they filed a raft of lawsuits against Apple in their original forum, the Eastern District of Texas. Judge Alsup ruled that the Uniloc plaintiffs did have standing, rejecting Apple’s argument that a purported “default” under a set of December 2014 agreements between Uniloc and Fortress Investment Group LLC, as subsequently and repeatedly amended, had shifted sufficient rights to Fortress to destroy Uniloc’s standing. Apple had also opposed a motion to add Uniloc 2017 LLC as a plaintiff, arguing that joining new patent owner Uniloc 2017 could not fix a lapse in standing caused by a May 2018 transfer of the Uniloc patent portfolio from Uniloc Luxembourg to Uniloc 2017. Judge Alsup ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, granting their motion to join Uniloc 2017.
In November 2018, Fortress Investment Group, LLC subsidiary Uniloc 2017 LLC was hit by a series of inter partes review (IPR) petitions filed by Apple as the two parties continue to brief a contentious dispute over standing in related district court litigation. November also saw the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) institute trial in IPRs involving Japanese patent monetization firm IP Bridge, Inc. and issue final decisions in IPRs against Quarterhill Inc. and Alacritech, Inc., the latter an operating company-turned-NPE formed by SCSI inventor Larry Boucher.