The Federal Circuit has upheld the invalidation of two Ethernet patents (5,434,872; 5,732,094) asserted by NPE U.S. Ethernet Innovations, LLC (USEI) in a 2009 suit against nine computer manufacturers, including Acer, Apple, Fujitsu, Sony, and Toshiba (4:10-cv-03724). In a non-precedential opinion issued on April 25, the court held that District Judge Claudia Wilken did not err in granting summary judgment of invalidity for the ‘872 and ‘094 patents based on anticipation by a prior art device known as a systems-oriented network interface controller, or “SONIC” (2015-1640, 2015-1641). The Federal Circuit also ruled in a third opinion (2015-1510) that USEI could not collect damages from a June 2014 verdict against Texas Instruments (TI) in a related case (6:11-cv-00491), upholding the district court’s decision that the subsequent invalidation of the ‘872 and ‘094 patents prevented recovery due to issue preclusion.
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