Judge Alsup Orders Unsealing of Fortress-Uniloc Licensing Info in Apple Suit, Seeking to “Police” the “Litigation Gimmick” of “Bloated” Royalty Demands

May 10, 2019

Late last year, a battle over standing unfolded in litigation between Apple and Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). Apple had moved to dismiss four of the NPE’s cases against it after learning of a complex set of agreements between Uniloc and Fortress Investment Group LLC, asserting that Uniloc’s purported “defaults” under those agreements had deprived it of standing by shifting certain rights in the asserted patents to Fortress. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California denied that motion in January, and Apple’s motion for reconsideration of that order remains pending. Now, a related, parallel dispute over confidentiality has come to a head: Judge Alsup has ruled, for the second time, that Uniloc has sought to withhold too much information about its agreements with Fortress, its prior licenses, and other related documents, declining to reconsider his earlier denial of the NPE’s first request to seal and rejecting its attempt to seek a more limited set of redactions. Judge Alsup cited the inherent public interest in learning information on patent ownership, licensing, and related standing issues as well as Uniloc’s failure to seek more limited relief in the first instance.

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