Undeterred by a late January Federal Circuit setback in its sole litigation campaign, Evolved Wireless, LLC has filed two new district court cases, one against Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (1:21-cv-00567) in the Northern District of Illinois and one against Samsung (2:21-cv-00033) in the Eastern District of Texas, as well as a new complaint before the International Trade Commission (ITC) (337-TA-3531) with proposed respondents Motorola Mobility and Samsung. The defendants are accused of infringing three wireless communications patents through the provision of “LTE-compliant cellular communication devices”, including various smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.
The Federal Circuit has just affirmed most of a Delaware noninfringement ruling for HTC, Lenovo (Motorola Mobility), Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE (2020-1337). On January 26, the appellate court agreed with Senior District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon that NPE Evolved Wireless LLC could not raise infringement claims against the companies’ accused smartphones due to a license between the asserted patents’ prior owner and Qualcomm, which provided the LTE chipsets used in those devices. As a result, Federal Circuit ruled that the NPE’s claims against the defendants, as Qualcomm’s customers, were barred under patent exhaustion. However, the court remanded as to the impact of the license’s alleged termination in late 2018—opting not to determine whether such a termination actually occurred, nor its effect on the license or infringement in the subsequent period.
This past week, Senior District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon signed a sealed order closing cases that Evolved Wireless LLC brought in June 2015 against HTC, Lenovo (Motorola Mobility), Microsoft, Samsung, and ZTE. The order follows a proposed stipulation by the parties to stay those suits to await the outcome of the plaintiff’s appeal (19-2362) from a judgment, entered in the sixth June 2015 case in the campaign after a Delaware jury found this past April that Apple does not infringe either patent-in-suit. Last week also saw Evolved Wireless file its opening appellate brief, which argues that the district court erred by refusing to order a new trial based on several arguments, including because the trial court kept from the jury evidence allegedly “inconsistent with Apple’s arguments at trial that [the patent subject to the appeal] is not essential to the LTE standard”.
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