In November 2018, Fortress Investment Group, LLC subsidiary Uniloc 2017 LLC was hit by a series of inter partes review (IPR) petitions filed by Apple as the two parties continue to brief a contentious dispute over standing in related district court litigation. November also saw the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) institute trial in IPRs involving Japanese patent monetization firm IP Bridge, Inc. and issue final decisions in IPRs against Quarterhill Inc. and Alacritech, Inc., the latter an operating company-turned-NPE formed by SCSI inventor Larry Boucher.
Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 (IP Bridge 1), a subsidiary of Japanese patent monetization firm IP Bridge, Inc., has filed suit against Qualcomm (1:18-cv-00485), alleging infringement of seven former Panasonic patents generally related to various aspects of semiconductor fabrication. Qualcomm is accused of infringement through the manufacture and sale of certain semiconductors made with its 40 or 45 nm process (e.g., MSM8660 Snapdragon S3) and its 28 nm process (e.g., MSM8960 Snapdragon S4, MSM8916 Snapdragon 410, MSM8974 Snapdragon 800). Each of the patents has been asserted in this campaign against one or more of previous defendants Broadcom, Intel, OmniVision, and Xilinx.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) remained at the center of a heated public debate over the issue of tribal sovereign immunity in December 2017. Motions to dismiss filed by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in IPRs against several Allergan patents—acquired by the tribe and licensed back to their original owner to shield them through sovereign immunity—remain pending as the PTAB considers a wave of amicus briefs filed on both sides of the issue. The Board has since denied the tribe’s motion for an oral hearing on discovery related to alleged bias held by the USPTO and its leadership, and that bias’s effect on the selection of judges for the tribe’s case. Meanwhile, among the petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed in December was one brought by Apple against MEC Resources, LLC, an entity owned by another Native American tribe, which took over an existing lawsuit asserting the challenged patent against Apple in the fall. Also in December, the Board issued institution decisions in petitions against Iridescent Networks, Inc.; Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC; and publicly traded Quarterhill Inc.; while an IPR against Packet Intelligence LLC ended in an adverse judgment after petitioner Sandvine prevailed in a November trial.
Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 (IP Bridge 1), a subsidiary of Japanese patent monetization firm IP Bridge, Inc., has filed a fourth case in the campaign that it began in February 2016. The new case asserts nine patents, generally related to various aspects of semiconductor fabrication, against Intel (2:17-cv-00676), identifying the accused products as “products with the part name or number i5-3550, E89459, QX9650, M 5Y70, and GT3e G82494, and other semiconductor products…made by similar manufacturing processes”, including “Intel’s 14nm, 22nm, 32nm, and 45nm process node semiconductor chips and products”. IP Bridge 1 pleads that Intel had prior knowledge of two of the nine patents-in-suit through third-party discovery in the first case in the campaign, against Broadcom, which ended in settlement this past July.