Rebooted Wireless Hotspot Campaign Is a Freeny Family Affair
After a nearly two-year hiatus, three individual plaintiffs—Bryan E. Freeny, Charles C. Freeny III, and James P. Freeny—have resumed their wireless hotspot campaign, asserting a single patent (6,490,443) generally related to a method of authenticating a wireless device using authorization codes sent from the wireless device to a hotspot device. The sole named inventor for the ‘443 patent is Charles C. Freeny, Jr., the plaintiffs’ father, an electrical engineer who passed away in 2003. Defendants in this latest wave of litigation are AliphCom (2:16-cv-00674), Bose (2:16-cv-00668), Creative Technology (2:16-cv-00669), Fitbit (2:16-cv-00670), Garmin (2:16-cv-00671), GoPro (2:16-cv-00672), and Harman (2:16-cv-00673). The companies are accused of infringement through various types of devices (including fitness trackers, cameras, wireless speakers, and GPS navigators) that communicate wirelessly with other nearby devices using authentication codes.