The eight latest suits filed by IPNav-controlled SFA Systems are the first filed by that entity since 2011. However, the SFA Systems campaign, first launched as Triton IP in 2006, is far from new. More than 70 companies have been sued to date in the broad-reaching SFA Systems campaign. Newly-named defendants include American Express, eBay, Lowe’s, Mastercard, Sony, Staples, Visa, and Walmart. Each suit asserts two patents related to sales automation (6,067,525, 7,941,341) and accuses defendants’ websites that offer recommendations for “related products” of infringement. The SFA Systems patents are among a larger portfolio of patents that originated with a sales automation software company Clear with Computers and its successor Firepond. In 2004, Erich Spangenberg, founder of IPNav, paid $1 million to acquire 14 patents from Firep0nd. To date, the Firepond patents have been variously asserted against more than 300 defendants in suits filed by a suite of IPNav plaintiff entities including Polaris IP, Orion IP, Triton IP, SFA Systems, Clear with Computers, and EMS Technologies. 3/14, Eastern District of Texas, 6:14cv00170, 6:14cv00171, 6:14cv00172, 6:14cv00173, 6:14cv00174, 6:14cv00175, 6:14cv00176, 6:14cv00177
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