Federal Circuit Revives Helferich Litigation Against Content Providers
On February 10, the Federal Circuit concluded that the doctrine of patent exhaustion does not bar Helferich Patent Licensing, L.L.C. from asserting a group of seven patents against Bravo Media, CBS, G4 Media, J.C. Penney, and The New York Times. The precedential opinion reverses a grant of summary judgment by Judge John W. Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois. In August 2013, Judge Darrah ruled that by licensing its patents “to the entire handset manufacturing industry”, Helferich had exhausted its ability to enforce the patents-in-suit. The Federal Circuit disagreed, holding that the doctrine of patent exhaustion does not apply to the defendants before Judge Darrah because they are not “authorized acquirers” of the licensed handsets.