Last month, District Judge Leonard P. Stark issued a set of Alice rulings—this time two—after another “Section 101 Day”, held on January 10 in Delaware. In a single hearing, the court considered eligibility challenges to patents asserted by Pebble Tide LLC, a plaintiff associated with Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, in a campaign targeting products that take and send still photos and videos (most recently, provided by insurance companies to facilitate auto damage estimates) and to a patent asserted by Mimzi, LLC, an inventor-controlled plaintiff, in a campaign targeting incorporation of voice response technology in a variety of apps and devices. Judge Stark’s decisions, in a January 31 order lifting heavily from the hearing transcript, produced mixed results.
For several years running, IP Edge LLC has been responsible for the most defendants added to NPE litigation campaigns throughout each calendar year. 2019 was no different. Last year saw roughly 400 defendants added to campaigns launched by plaintiffs associated with the Texas monetization firm, the campaigns spanning a wide range of technologies and now involving suits filed (and typically litigated in file-and-settle fashion) in myriad districts. A quick glance at the NPE’s January filings suggests that 2020 will see more of the same, while a recent Alice ruling may have just ended one of IP Edge’s 2019 campaigns.
Undeterred by multiple Alice motions, some scheduled to be heard during the second week of January 2020, Pebble Tide LLC continues to sue new defendants, most recently Allstate (1:19-cv-08387) in the Northern District of Illinois and GEICO (1:19-cv-01236) and Progressive (1:19-cv-01237) in the Northern District of Illinois. The IP Edge LLC plaintiff’s campaign concerns two patents that are generally related to capturing digital content and wirelessly distributing it, with infringement allegations broadly targeting products that take and send still photos or videos. Here, the insurance companies have been tagged for the features within their platforms that allow transmission of pictures for car damage estimates: Allstate Insurance Quick Foto Claim, GEICO Car insurance, and Progressive Photo Estimate, respectively.