Sockeye Licensing TX LLC has added cases against Fujitsu (3:18-cv-07492) and VIZIO (8:18-cv-02148) to the suits naming Hisense, Panasonic, and Toshiba, separately filed in November. The same two patents, generally related to the use of a wireless communications device (e.g., a cell phone) to control and provide network connectivity to standard desktop peripherals (e.g., a monitor and keyboard), are asserted in Sockeye’s two newest complaints. Fujitsu is accused of infringement through the provision of a wireless HDMI dongle (branded by Fujitsu as the “FUJITSU Wireless Display for HDMI” and identified in the complaint as “Fujitsu HDMI”) that supports media casting from a smartphone, including content from Netflix; VIZIO, of VIZIO SmartCast, its smart TV platform that allows media casting using Chromecast.
The dismissal in late August 2018 of a case filed by Sockeye Licensing TX LLC against Lenovo ended that NPE’s last round of suits, filed in the Central District of California. Sockeye has now begun another round, this one comprising cases filed against Panasonic (1:18-cv-01750) and Toshiba (1:18-cv-01749) in the District of Delaware, over Blu-ray players that allow playback on a connected TV of video received on a smartphone, and against Hisense (1:18-cv-05129) in the Northern District of Georgia, over Hisense Smartcast, which facilitates similar functionality. At issue in the new complaints are two patents from a five-member family generally related to the use of a wireless communications device (e.g., a cell phone) to control and provide network connectivity to standard desktop peripherals (e.g., a monitor and keyboard).
The troubled litigation campaign of Sockeye Licensing TX LLC has come back to life, with the privately held NPE filing suit in the Central District of California against Belkin (8:17-cv-01218), Lenovo (2:17-cv-05266), LG Electronics (LGE) (5:17-cv-01431), and Microsoft (8:17-cv-01222). The new complaints assert one (8,135,342) of the two patents-in-suit (8,879,987) in the earlier round of litigation, and/or the most recent patent (9,547,981) from the same five-member family, which issued this past January. The patents generally relate to the use of a wireless communications device (e.g., a cell phone) to control and provide network connectivity to standard desktop peripherals (e.g., a monitor and keyboard), with infringement allegations targeting the manufacture and sale of Wi-Fi Certified Miracast products. Belkin, Lenovo, and LGE were defendants in Sockeye’s first attempt to litigate this family of patents, which started with a large set of complaints filed in the Eastern District of Texas and ended with Sockeye’s requests for adverse judgment and cancellation of claims in inter partes reviews (IPRs) responsive to severalpetitions filed by RPX.
Samsung (1:15-cv-10278) is the latest Sockeye Licensing TX LLC defendant to turn declaratory judgment plaintiff, becoming the thirteenth such company when it filed a new complaint against the NPE in the Northern District of Illinois. In early October, Sockeye asserted two patents (8,135,342; 8,879,987) generally related to creating a desktop computing environment with a wireless device against over 45 companies that make or sell Wi-Fi Certified Miracast products. Sockeye has now voluntarily dismissed all but two of those cases, after first HP (1:15-cv-09341), then other defendants, filed complaints seeking declaratory judgments alleging that Sockeye did not own the patents-in-suit at the time that it filed in Texas. Sockeye has not admitted that its failure to file an annual report and pay franchise taxes rendered assignment of the two patents to Sockeye null and void, destroying its standing to sue for infringement on the date of filing in Texas, but it nevertheless began voluntarily dismissing the early October cases.
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