The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw a decline in petitions for AIA review filed against NPES in April 2017. While the total number of April petitions, 120, was somewhat less than the three-year monthly average of 150, NPEs were hit by 20 petitions in April, a 68.8 percent decline from 64 the previous month. The dip in April PTAB filings comes in the midst of an overall increase in PTAB petitions over the previous year, with the total number of petitions filed so far in fiscal year 2017 nearing 1,200 as of the date of this report (compared to just over 930 petitions during the same period last year). Prolific private litigants remain a regular target for PTAB petitions, with petitions filed in April against IP Edge LLC and Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited, while Acacia Research Corporation was the only publicly traded NPE named in petitions brought during that month.
Adaptix, an Acacia Research subsidiary, filed three separate suits against a group of handset makers and network carriers with patents related to cellular technology. The first suit, filed on January 4 against Apple and AT&T jointly (because the defendants either make or sell the accused products), alleges that Apple’s iPhone5 and iPad mini infringe two patents related to the use OFDMA technology (7,454,212, 6,947,748). On January 10, Adaptix filed two additional suits against joint defendants AT&T, Ericsson, and MetroPCS alleging that the defendants’ mobile phones, tablets, and 4G LTE services infringe four additional patents related to OFDMA and 4G LTE technology (7,573,851, 7,146,172, 7,072,315, 6,904, 283). These suits come almost exactly a year after Adaptix was acquired by Acacia Research. Since that time, Adaptix has filed twelve prior suits against other mobile device companies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Clearwire, Cellco, HTC, LG, and Sprint. As previously reported, Adaptix, formerly named Broadstorm, went through a series of unsuccessful portfolio bids on the open market over a five year time period. Acacia transacted to purchase the Adaptix patent portfolio for $160 million in January 2012. (RPX reviewed the patent portfolio in May 2011.) Of note is that a few days after the Acacia transaction, Adaptix entered into licensing agreements with Microsoft and Samsung, suggesting that these companies may have influenced the prior deal.1/10, Eastern District of Texas, assigned to Judge Leonard Davis, 6:2013cv00049; 6:2013cv00050.
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