Until recently, private equity-backed NPE Fundamental Innovation Systems International LLC (FISI) had squarely focused its USB charging campaign on device makers, hitting roughly 15 such companies over former BlackBerry patents since late 2016. FISI may now be shifting gears. This past week, the NPE sued a group of car makers and parts suppliers over the provision of USB media ports and vehicles equipped with such devices.
Signs abound that wealthy investors are doubling down on patent litigation. Take for example the new suits recently filed by two NPEs holding large portfolios of former operating company patents, each backed by a private equity firm or hedge fund. As a recent RPXanalysis shows, the economic risk posed by these types of NPEs is significant—and may be increasing.
Fundamental Innovation Systems International LLC has filed a new round of cases in its sole litigation campaign, suing Aukey (2:20-cv-00116), BBK Electronics (OnePlus) (2:20-cv-00119), Jasco Products (2:20-cv-00118), and Yulong Computer (Coolpad) (2:20-cv-00117) in the Eastern District of Texas; Hon Hai Precision Industry (Belkin) (1:20-cv-00550), Lenovo (1:20-cv-00551), and TCL (TCT Mobile) (1:20-cv-00552) in the District of Delaware; and BLU Products (1:20-cv-21721) in the Southern District of Florida. The NPE has targeted, with patents acquired from BlackBerry, the provision of USB charging devices (e.g., charging adapters, battery packs, electrical outlets equipped with USB ports, etc.), as well as mobile devices that include USB charging devices (e.g., Chromebooks, laptops, smartphones, and tablets), throughout this campaign, which began back in December 2016.