Arigna Technology Takes Aim at More Automakers

May 23, 2021

This past week, having filed its first litigation in February 2021, Arigna Technology Limited kicked off two more campaigns. In the first, the Irish NPE sued BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen (Bentley; Lamborghini; Porsche) in a single complaint (2:21-cv-00173) over automobiles that incorporate the Analog Devices AD8417/18 current sense amplifier. In the second, Arigna targets in separate suits BMW (2:21-cv-00172) over the provision of automobiles and components that incorporate the International Rectifier (Infineon) AUIR2085S; Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) and Volkswagen (2:21-cv-00175), over the provision of automobiles that incorporate the STMicro L9959S/T H-Bridges; and GM, Honda, and Renault (Nissan) (2:21-cv-00174), over automobiles or components that incorporate NXP Semiconductors MC339XX0-series chip packages.

Arigna asserts in the -173 complaint a single patent (8,289,082), originally issuing to Atmel, and received by a sibling NPE, Sonraí Memory Limited from Microchip Technology (which acquired Atmel) in February 2020. (Sonraí moved it to Arigna later that same month.) The earlier in a two-member family, the ‘082 patent, generally related to an amplifier equipped with an “adjusting circuit to correct an offset of an output current”, issued in October 2012 with estimated priority in December 2009.

In the second campaign, Arigna also accuses each defendant of infringing a single patent (7,049,850), this one developed by and received from Mitsubishi Electric, also in February 2020 (in a transfer of over 30 patent assets). Broadly related to a semiconductor device that performs “drive control” and comprising a single-member family, the ‘850 patent issued in May 2006 with an estimated priority date in April 2003.

Arigna began litigating another of its former Mitsubishi assets (the 7,397,318 patent, generally related to a “voltage-controlled oscillator”) this past February in a single Eastern District of Texas complaint filed against automakers BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Renault (Nissan), TeslaToyota, and Volkswagen. The plaintiff amended its complaint in March 2021 to assert a second of those former Mitsubishi assets (the 8,247,867 patent, broadly directed to a particular semiconductor device) and to add GM as a defendant.

All of the defendants are accused of infringing the ‘318 patent, while only BMW, GM, and Volkswagen are accused of infringing the ‘867 patent, with Arigna pleading that joinder in a single complaint is warranted because “each Defendant designs, manufactures, assembles, imports, offers for sale, and/or sells automotive vehicles and components thereof that incorporate the NXP Semiconductors MR2001 chip package”.

Arigna and Sonraí are connected to several other Irish entities, including Data Scape Limited (litigating patents originating with Sony); Neodrón Limited (asserting patents received from Microchip); Scramoge Technology Limited (litigating several former LG Innotek against Samsung); and Solas OLED Limited (litigating a display panel campaign over patents received from Microchip or Casio to a recent $62.7M verdict against Samsung). A closer look at these NPEs’ corporate ties can be found at “More Hedge Fund-Backed Irish NPEs Launch US Litigation” (February 2021).

Each of Arigna’s new cases has been initially assigned to District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who is presiding over the NPE’s earlier litigation as well. The defendants in that first campaign have filed motions challenging venue. 5/20, Eastern District of Texas.