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.
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Three days after kicking off its first litigation campaign with cases against Amazon and Comcast, Hertl Media LLC has sued Bitmovin (1:18-cv-00938), Cox Communications (1:18-cv-00939), Longtail Ad Solutions (1:18-cv-00940), Netflix (1:18-cv-00941), and Telestream (1:18-cv-00942). At issue is the same patent, generally related to multi-language buffering during media playback, with Hertl Media’s infringement allegations focused on multi-language accommodations in the parties’ respective streaming services. Hertl Media’s is one of multiple campaigns arising from the acquisition of former Nero AG patents by apparent affiliates of Bradley D. Liddle.
In April, RPXnoted the transfer of former Nero AG patents, each from a Delaware entity to a Texas entity in apparent preparation for litigation. Now, a second of those recipients, Hertl Media LLC, has indeed launched a campaign in Texas, suing Amazon (3:18-cv-01638) in the Northern District and Comcast (4:18-cv-02119) in the Southern District. The patent-in-suit generally relates to multi-language buffering during media playback, with Hertl Media’s infringement allegations focused on multi-language accommodations in the parties’ respective streaming services, both identified (in seeming error as to Comcast) as “Prime Video”. The first of those Texas entities to sue, Checksum Ventures LLC, did so in mid-May, with three more litigation campaigns likely on their way from affiliated entities.