The Federal Circuit has breathed new life into a campaign begun by Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited in April 2016—before the Australian NPE began ramping up its litigation activity in 2017, before it acquired the large portfolio of patents from Pendrell Corporation in early 2018, and before it transferred control over its patent assets to Fortress Investment Group LLC in May 2018. Throughout 2016 and 2017, Uniloc accused a wide range of defendants of infringing up to four patents, sourced from IBM, through their software licensing and delivery systems. Multiple decisions in the Eastern District of Texas, however, invalidated all four patents under Alice, stopping the campaign in its tracks. Now, in a May 24, 2019 nonprecedential opinion, the Federal Circuit has reversed the district court as to two of those patents while affirming the invalidity of the other two. The case has been remanded back to Texas for further proceedings in the underlying cases, filed against ADP, Big Fish Games, BitDefender, and Kaspersky Lab, but the decision could revive litigation dropped as to other defendants as well.
For Uniloc 2017 LLC—the Fortress Investment Group LLC entity that took ownership of Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited’s patent portfolio last May—2019 has begun much as 2018 ended, with the NPE asserting those patents against various defendants across multiple litigation campaigns. January’s defendants include Bitmovin (1:19-cv-00179), Brightcove (1:19-cv-00180), Dailymotion (1:19-cv-00181), Sling TV (1:19-cv-00278), Telestream (1:19-cv-00182), and Wal-Mart (Vudu) (1:19-cv-00183), all sued as part of what might be called the “video streaming segment” of a campaign that has sprawled over more than two dozen defendants, with more than 15 patents asserted, since just last February. Uniloc 2017 has also filed two new suits against Microsoft (8:19-cv-00158, 8:19-cv-00196), one asserting a homegrown Uniloc patent (generally related to testing whether a remote device is secure) for the first time while the other concerns a patent (generally related to marking speaker changes in a videoconference application) already in suit against Alphabet (Google).