Personal Audio LLC v. Google LLC
- Filed: 12/06/2017
- Case Updated Daily
- Latest Docket Entry: 03/01/2021
April 16, 2020
In a burst of new filings, Honeyman Cipher Solutions LLC has sued six defendants across three districts: Adidas (1:20-cv-00401), ASICS Digital (1:20-cv-00402), Evernote (1:20-cv-00403), and PayPal (1:20-cv-00404) in the Western District of Texas; Asana (3:20-cv-00928) in the Northern District of Texas; and Slack (1:20-cv-01076) in the District of Colorado. As with its last complaints, filed separately in the District of Delaware against LogMeIn and Snap, infringement allegations focus on the defendants’ use of Apple’s iTunes Connect and Google’s Android Developer Console to register and distribute their iOS and Android apps. There is a history of challenges to those allegations.
NPE’s Filing Pattern in Sudden Reverse as Federal Circuit Holds That Letter-Writing Campaign Is Sufficient to Establish VenueMay 13, 2019
Multiple Delaware NPEs under the same apparent control have each taken over the litigation of patents—earlier passed to a Texas entity for assertion—after the patents have boomeranged back. Most recently, Circuit Ventures LLC assigned a family of circuit monitoring patents to Texas entity Wireless Monitoring Systems LLC, which asserted them in litigation from November 2016 to January 2019 before assigning the family back. Circuit Ventures has sued NXP Semiconductors (6:19-cv-00275) and Pepprl + Fuchs (4:19-cv-01515) in April 2019 and Honeywell (1:19-cv-00857), Link Interactive (1:19-cv-00856), and Scout Security (1:19-cv-00858) so far in May. Likewise, Universal Cipher LLC assigned a single patent generally related to “dynamic” text generation to Cumberland Systems, LLC, which asserted it in litigation from May 2017 to May 2018 before returning the patent to Universal Cipher, which has now sued Best Buy (2:19-cv-00160), Target (2:19-cv-00163), and Wal-Mart (2:19-cv-00164) over it. These reversals, as well as other assignment activity, suggest a return to Delaware for these and other NPEs affiliated with the same patent attorney, perhaps motivated by a recent Federal Circuit opinion clarifying that targets of letter-writing campaigns can seek declaratory judgments in their home districts, rather than risk being sued elsewhere.
December 10, 2017
A patent infringement suit brought against Google by Personal Audio, LLC has been transferred from the Eastern District of Texas (1:15-cv-00350) to the District of Delaware (1:17-cv-01751) due to improper venue. This appears to be the first time that a court has transferred a case against Google for that reason since the US Supreme Court issued its May 22 opinion in TC Heartland, which held that the narrower patent venue statute (28 USC Section 1400(b)), not the general venue statute (28 USC Section 1391), governs in infringement suits. In addition to the issue of venue propriety itself, the court also ruled on two other, threshold issues related to venue that had not been previously addressed by TC Heartland or subsequent cases: that the burden of proof for venue challenges falls on the plaintiff, under prior precedent for the patent venue statute; and that venue in patent suits should be analyzed based on facts and circumstances existing at the time a suit is filed, in light of the text of the statute.
September 25, 2017
While a Texas court considers a motion to dismiss a September 2015 affirmative case filed by Personal Audio, LLC, Alphabet (Google) has filed an action (3:17-cv-05583) in the Northern District of California seeking declaratory judgments that the same two patents at issue in Texas are invalid and are not infringed and that the accused products specifically identified in infringement contentions are licensed. The patents generally relate to audio player devices, with infringement accusations focused on devices that include the Google Play Music application. Google filed the motion to dismiss for improper venue in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision; it earlier lost a motion to transfer for convenience to California.
Rothschild Continues Exodus from Texas as Venue Challenges Disrupt Litigation Strategy in the Eastern DistrictJuly 29, 2017
Inventor Leigh M. Rothschild has continued his streak of conceding to venue challenges in Texas, less than a year after largely consolidating his litigation in that state. On July 18 and 24, dockets were opened in the Central District of California and Delaware, respectively, for the cases against ShopStyle (1:17-cv-00978) and Clique Media (2:17-cv-05463) brought by the Rothschild-controlled Product Association Technologies, LLC after the defendants filed motions to dismiss due to improper venue in the Eastern District of Texas cases against them (2:17-cv-00270, 2:17-cv-00265). Product Association also dismissed cases against IAC Search & Media (2:17-cv-00269) and Verizon (Altaba (f/k/a Yahoo), Polyvore, Yahoo Holding) (2:17-cv-00272, 2:17-cv-00268) with prejudice on July 20 after the defendants filed motions to dismiss for improper venue or, in the alternative, to dismiss due to the alleged invalidity of the asserted patent (6,154,738) under Alice. Each of those virtually identical motions was filed on June 26 and alleged that the ‘738 patent is impermissibly directed to the abstract idea of “locating and sending product information in response to a request”.
December 22, 2016
Codec Technologies LLC has filed ten new suits in its sole litigation campaign against Craig Electronics (2:16-cv-01426), Curtis (2:16-cv-01436), Datawind (2:16-cv-01437), Global Phoenix Computer Technologies Solutions (2:16-cv-01432), Naxa Electronics (2:16-cv-01428), Pivos Technology Group (2:16-cv-01427), PLR IP Holdings (2:16-cv-01435), RSPA (d/b/a Sungale) (2:16-cv-01429), Voxx Electronics (2:16-cv-01430), and Vulcan Electronics (2:16-cv-01431). The new complaints allege that tablets made and sold by each defendant infringe a single patent (6,825,780) generally related to data compression using multiple encoders on a single integrated circuit.