The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw activity in August 2018 involving a variety of frequent litigants. This included petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against two NPEs controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, INVT SPE LLC and Uniloc 2017 LLC, the latter of which has in recent months cofiled a barrage of lawsuits with subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). The PTAB also instituted trial in August for IPRs against Uniloc 2017 and some of its campaign coplaintiffs, and in an IPR against an NPE controlled by patent attorney Brian Yates, whose US litigation has waned as he pursues a new patent licensing initiative through his company iPEL, Inc. Finally, the PTAB issued final decisions in August for IPRs against Uniloc, Empire IP LLC, and Quarterhill Inc.
Interface Linx, LLC has dismissed seven of the eight cases that it filed this past April in the Central District of California in favor of new cases filed against the same seven defendants in Delaware—DEI Holdings (Denon Electronics, Marantz, Polk Audio, Sound United d/b/a Definitive Technologies) (1:17-cv-01102), Haier Group (1:17-cv-01098), Inkel (Sherwood) (1:17-cv-01101), ONKYO (1:17-cv-01099), Pioneer (1:17-cv-01100), TCL (1:17-cv-01103), and VOXX (Invision Automotive Systems, Kilpsh Group) (1:17-cv-01104). The NPE again asserts a single patent, generally related to a particular electrical connector assembly, in each of the new Delaware cases, and that same patent remains asserted in the sole lawsuit left active back in California, against Hisense (2:17-cv-03193). HDMI plugs and receptacles provided on a range of electronic devices, from smart TVs and network amplifiers to speakers and multipurpose receivers, remain the accused products.
Recently formed California NPE Interface Linx, LLC has begun a new campaign with the filing of multiple new suits: DEI Holdings (Denon Electronics, Marantz, Polk Audio, Sound United) (2:17-cv-03193), Haier Group (2:17-cv-03182), Hisense (2:17-cv-03193), Inkel (Sherwood) (2:17-cv-03192), ONKYO (2:17-cv-03188), Pioneer (2:17-cv-03191), TCL (5:17-cv-00826), and VOXX (Invision Automotive Systems, Kilpsh Group) (2:17-cv-03194). The complaints assert a single patent (6,508,678) that generally relates to a particular electrical connector assembly; Interface Linx accuses the defendants of infringement through HDMI plugs and receptacles provided on a range of electronic devices, from smart TVs and network amplifiers to speakers and multipurpose receivers.