In July 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw the first new petition for inter partes review (IPR) filed against a Native American tribe since the Board’s March ruling that IPRs against tribes are not barred by sovereign immunity, a decision that was upheld by the Federal Circuit on July 20. Institution decisions were also issued by the Board in July for IPRs against Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited and Sound View Innovations, LLC, among other notable plaintiffs. In addition, the PTAB issued final decisions throughout July for IPRs against a variety of other NPEs, from Intellectual Ventures LLC (which has continued to pursue its existing campaigns but has seemingly stopped filing new US litigation) to smaller entities like Andrea Electronics Corporation and XPRT Ventures LLC as well as individual inventor Daniel L. Flamm.
Andrea Electronics Corporation (AEC) has rebooted its sole litigation campaign, filing a district court case against Apple (2:16-cv-5220), another against Samsung (2:16-cv-5217), and a complaint before the International Trade Commission (ITC) against both (337-TA-1026). All three new complaints assert identified claims from three patents (6,049,607; 6,363,345; 6,377,637) generally related to interference cancelling and noise reduction. At issue in this campaign are audio processing hardware and software in a host of computing and related products, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, headsets, and wearables.