Karamelion LLC, an entity associated with IP Edge LLC, has sued Essence (2:20-cv-11824), Hunter Douglas (Hunter Douglas Window Fashions) (1:20-cv-02604), Lutron Electronics (1:20-cv-05044), Systech (3:20-cv-01692), and Verizon (2:20-cv-00279), each in a different district: the District of New Jersey, the District of Colorado, the Northern District of Illinois, the Southern District of California, and the Eastern District of Texas, respectively. The NPE accuses the defendants of infringing two patents, generally related to controlling a “distributed appliance system”, through the provision of smart home products and related networking devices that support the ZigBee and/or Z-Wave wireless protocol.
For several years running, IP Edge LLC has been responsible for the most defendants added to NPE litigation campaigns throughout each calendar year. 2019 was no different. Last year saw roughly 400 defendants added to campaigns launched by plaintiffs associated with the Texas monetization firm, the campaigns spanning a wide range of technologies and now involving suits filed (and typically litigated in file-and-settle fashion) in myriad districts. A quick glance at the NPE’s January filings suggests that 2020 will see more of the same, while a recent Alice ruling may have just ended one of IP Edge’s 2019 campaigns.
The smart home campaign of IP Edge LLC, filed through affiliate Karamelion LLC, saw four more defendants added this past week: Ingersoll-Rand (2:18-cv-00442), Leviton Manufacturing (1:18-cv-01670), Napco Security (1:18-cv-01671), and United Technologies (1:18-cv-01672). The new cases join existing suits filed in August across multiple districts against ADT, AT&T (AT&T Digital Life), Frontpoint Security Solutions, Protect America, and Reliant Energy. Asserted across the campaign is a family of two patents generally related to controlling a “distributed appliance system”, with the defendants accused of infringement through the provision of a variety of connected appliances. The complaints particularly identify devices using the Z-Wave wireless communications protocol, at least one calling out control by the Samsung SmartThings Hub, although Samsung is not named as a party.
IP Edge LLC, which RPX data shows has cumulatively added more defendants to patent lawsuits than any other plaintiff since 2000, was relatively quiet during the first two quarters of 2018. Q3, however, saw an uptick in IP Edge activity, with various affiliates launching five new campaigns targeting a wide range of technologies.
Karamelion LLC, an affiliate of Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, as kicked off a new smart home campaign. The plaintiff accuses ADT (2:18-cv-00330), AT&T (AT&T Digital Life) (2:18-cv-00331), and Reliant Energy (1:18-cv-01150) of infringing a single patent generally related to controlling a “distribute appliance system”, ADT in the Eastern District of Texas, through the provision of smart plugs, thermostats, and light bulbs; AT&T Digital Life in the same district, through the provision of hubs and various smart devices such as lighting control modules, thermostats, light switches, garage door controllers, and door locks; and Reliant Energy in the District of Delaware, through the provision of plugs, wireless door locks, garage door controllers, light bulbs, and thermostats.