IP Edge Files ITC Complaint, Breaking Form in Latest Campaign over Portfolio of Former Siemens Patents

September 27, 2020

As September 2020 draws to a close, IP Edge LLC—through plaintiff Q3 Networking LLC—has done something routine for the prolific NPE, as well as something unusual. In typical month-end fashion, Q3 Networking launched a new litigation campaign over patents from a 30-asset portfolio received from Siemens in October 2018, doing so through separate suits filed against CommScope (ARRIS; Ruckus Wireless) (1:20-cv-01263), HP Enterprise (HPE) (Aruba Networks) (1:20-cv-01265), and NETGEAR (1:20-cv-01264) in the District of Delaware. Q3 Networking joins more than ten other IP Edge plaintiffs to litigate assets from that former Siemens portfolio; however, in a first for IP Edge, Q3 Networking also filed this past week a complaint before the International Trade Commission (ITC), against the same respondents (337-TA-3493), relying on the US activities of licensee Siemens to establish a domestic industry.

Q3 Networking asserts four patents against each defendant/respondent (7,457,627; 7,609,677; 7,895,305; 8,797,853), targeting the provision of networking hardware (e.g., access points, routers, switches, Wi-Fi extenders, and wireless LAN controllers) and related software products (e.g., operating systems and web-based management platforms). As noted, Siemens assigned them to IP Edge in October 2018, together with more than two dozen other US patents, many of which have subsequently been asserted in litigation by IP Edge plaintiffs, including Rainey Circuit LLC (in November 2018); Pinek IP LLC, Raven Licensing LLC, and Wave Linx LLC (in February 2019); Blueprint IP Solutions LLC and Cassiopeia IP LLC (in March 2019); Valyrian IP LLC and Sonohm Licensing LLC (in August 2019); CyndaTek LLC and Pivital IP LLC (in November 2019); and Fairway IP LLC (in July 2020). IP Edge moved these four patents into Q3 Networking’s hands in May 2020.

Issuing to Siemens in November 2008, the ‘627 patent generally relates to transferring data with a “verified” Quality of Service (QoS) requirement. In its ITC complaint, Q3 Networking asserts claims 1-3 and 8 of the patent, alleging that the accused products of each defendant infringe through support of “establishing a secure communication for a transmission request with a QoS requirement according to the IEEE 802.11e standard”. The ‘627 patent comprises a single patent family; Q3 Networking pleads that it will expire in June 2023.

The plaintiff focuses its ITC complaint on claims 1-6 and 8 of the ‘677 patent, which generally relates to transferring information between two devices via “a radio communication interface of a radio communication system”. Q3 Networking focuses its infringement allegations on “network devices that can supply channel information so that a communication device can handover or change over to different network devices. Such devices include networking devices that support “the 802.1k and 802.11v standards and/or roaming functionality”. The ‘677 patent, according to Q3 Networking, issued in October 2009 and expires in December 2023.

The NPE accuses the defendants of infringing claims 1-3, 5-6, 8-9, and 11-14 of the ‘305 patent through the provision of products “configured to interact with a Web-based management engine for” their monitoring and/or control.  Issuing in February 2011, the patent generally relates to a “web-based management engine”. Q3 Networking pleads that it expires in March 2025.

Finally, claims 1-9 of the ‘853 patent are asserted against the defendants’ products due to their alleged support of “authorizing transmission requests having a QoS requirement without having to further interrogate additional nodes in a communications network a method for checking the permissibility of a network transmission request in view of the requests [sic] quality level”. Issuing in August 2014 and apparently expiring in August 2032, the ‘853 patent broadly concerns “checking permissibility to use a service” in a network.

Q3 Networking hinges its claim to a domestic industry on the activities of “its licensee” Siemens, described partially in the ITC complaint. The NPE pleads that it “will promptly seek detailed discovery of Siemens’ domestic industry activities and investments related to the Asserted Patents and claimed technology through subpoena or through cooperation”. Oddly, the complaint, filed the day after the Delaware cases, also indicates that the asserted patents “are not now and have never been the subject of litigation before any other court or agency”.

IP Edge has been the most prolific NPE plaintiff since its formation in Texas by attorneys Gautham (Gau) Bodepudi, Sanjay Pant, and Lillian Woung in July 2015. Among IP Edge’s established patterns and practices has been the naming of longtime Texas residents as managers or managing members of its litigating NPEs. However, Q3 Networking was formed in May 2020 directly by Bodepudi, Pant, and Woung, perhaps foreshadowing that this particular campaign would prove a departure from norm for this NPE. (For more on IP Edge’s established patterns and practices, see here.)

IP Edge has engaged Bragalone Conroy PC for counsel in this campaign, with Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC as local counsel for its Delaware complaints and Adduci, Mastriani & Schamburg L.L.P. before the ITC. 9/21, District of Delaware; 9/22, ITC.