The Federal Circuit has overturned a Texas judge’s decision to deny attorney fees in a case brought against ADS Security (2:15-cv-01431) by Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC (RCDI), an NPE controlled by inventor Leigh M. Rothschild. In an opinion issued on June 5, the Federal Circuit ruled that Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne had erred by holding that RCDI’s litigation conduct was not “exceptional” under Octane. Rather, the Federal Circuit found that the district court had improperly relied on affidavits filed by Rothschild and RCDI’s counsel regarding the plaintiff’s “good faith” belief in the validity of the asserted patent (8,788,090), had “misjudged” Rothschild’s broader litigation conduct, and had “conflated” 35 U.S.C. Section 285 with Rule 11 (governing sanctions) in its analysis (2016-2521).
Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC (RCDI), one of the litigating NPEs of prolific named inventor and plaintiff Leigh M. Rothschild, continues to add cases to its campaign, asserting both one patent (8,788,090) that has been at issue since the first cases, filed in February 2015, and the ‘090 patent’s earliest issuing relative (7,899,713). The patents generally relate to remotely customizing a consumer product based on user preferences. The new defendants are Garmin (2:17-cv-00158) and Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (2:17-cv-00159), and the accused products are Garmin’s activity tackers (e.g the Garmin VivoActive HR) and Motorola Mobility’s smartwatches (e.g. the Moto 360). It appears that RCDI began asserting the ‘713 patent after two petitions for inter partes review (IPR) were filed in early 2016, the first one filed by RPX, challenging certain claims of the ‘090 patent.