Atlantic IP Moves Over 200 Patents to a New Home

March 23, 2024

Separate assignments of patent assets from five entities operating under the umbrella of Dublin-based patent monetization firm Atlantic IP Services Limited to a sixth such entity were recently recorded and made public by the USPTO. The transfers leave each of those divestors without any US patent holdings, at least according to currently available assignment records. Two Atlantic IP plaintiffs have notified the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the change in real party-in-interest in proceedings before it.

Atlantic IP was formed in Ireland in September 2019, with Ciaran O’Gara (its COO), Sean O’Sullivan, and Gerald Padian (its managing director) identified among its directors. On its public website, Atlantic IP Services describes itself as a Dublin-based firm “focused on patent monetization, from patent review, selection, drafting, valuation and acquisition financing, to all phases of licensing from market studies, teardowns, negotiations and, when necessary, litigation”. The “Our Team” page on the website features Magnetar Capital, which Atlantic IP has characterized as an “investor”. Magnetar is described there as “an alternative asset manager with approximately $12.4 Billion in AUM [assets under management], as of December 230, 2022”.

Together with fellow attorney Richard G. Tashjian, Padian is well known for the formation of Realtime Data LLC (RTD) and its parent Realtime Data Compression Systems, Inc., both New York entities. RTD began a litigation campaign in 2008 that sprawled across the following decade, through various district courts and more than one trial. An entry point for background concerning RTD’s monetization activities can be found here.

Since late 2018, plaintiffs ultimately tied to Atlantic IP have acquired US patents, generally from operating companies, and asserted their holdings across multiple litigation campaigns in the US. Often the NPEs waging these campaigns identify O’Gara, O’Sullivan, Padian, and/or Tashjian, as well as James Prusko (a portfolio manager at Magnetar), among others, as their directors, and have hit the same operating company defendant repeatedly. For example, dismissals with prejudice in cases filed by more than ten such NPEs, all against Apple, were entered on roughly the same day last November.  

At least one such plaintiff, Arigna Technology Limited, has become involved in a set of relationships by which its litigation counsel, Susman Godfrey L.L.P., secured litigation funding for the NPE’s campaigns, from Chicago-based Longford Capital. A complicated dispute has arisen from those relationships, prompting Arigna to sue a Longford fund in the District of Delaware, where Longford has sought to compel arbitration and BMW (an Arigna defendant) has attempted to intervene. For the latest coverage, see “BMW Tries to Enter the Arigna-Susman-Longford ‘Tripartite’ Fray” (March 2024).

It is not unusual for Atlantic IP entities to move patents around for assertion, but it is nonetheless notable that on March 5, 2024, Atlantic IP plaintiffs Aire Technology Limited (f/k/a Bowen Ventures Limited) (previously litigating former G+D patents), Scramoge Technology Limited (targeting wireless charging and asserting patents received from L3Harris or LG Innotek), Sonraí Memory Limited (asserting former Atmel patents also received through Microchip Technology), Speir Technologies Limited (previously asserting former L3Harris patents), and Togail Technologies Limited (previously litigating a former FG Innovation portfolio) moved all of their US assets to an Atlantic IP Services entity formed in May 2023, Nera Innovations Limited (identifying Padian as its director and O’Gara as its secretary). Nera itself does not appear to have held patents previously or, obviously, asserted any in US litigation. The combined movement here puts in Nera’s possession more than 200 US patents.

As noted, the litigation campaigns of Aire, Speir, and Togail join those of several other Atlantic IP NPEs in the inactive category. Scramoge, however, has an open appeal of the cancellation of claims from one of the patents that it formerly held (7,825,537) through an inter partes review (IPR) filed by Apple back in February 2022. Scramoge just secured a 32-day extension of the deadline to file its opening appeal brief, to April 22, 2024. On March 19, Scramoge notified the PTAB itself that Nera is now the real party-in-interest in that IPR, now on appeal. Central District of California Judge David O. Carter’s last order in the sole remaining open district court case of Scramoge requires the plaintiff and defendant Mophie to file a joint status report within 30 days of the last appeal from a set of IPRs of the patents there still in suit, including the ’573 patent, which Nera—not Scramoge—now owns.

Sonraí Memory appears yet to have apprised Western District of Texas Judge Alan D. Albright that the two patents asserted against Micron Technology in an August 2022 case before him (6,724,241; 6,920,527) now belong to Nera. The court recently transferred the suit from the Austin Division to the Waco Division, with claim construction still on the horizon. Each of those patents is also the subject of an ongoing IPR in response to Micron petitions, Sonraí Memory’s responses to the petitions having been filed on March 11, 2024. A week later, Sonraí notified the PTAB that the real party-in-interest in each IPR is now Nera.

The most recent inbound Atlantic IP assignments appearing in currently available USPTO records occurred in September 2023, from L3Harris to Croga Innovations Limited, and in November 2023, from NXP to Eireog Innovations Limited. Eireog has yet to file suit in the US, but Croga has hit IBM, Cisco, Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks, in that order since late December 2023. The Cisco case reveals that Croga apparently holds more assets that public assignment records suggest; for additional details, see “As Goes Lionra Before It, So Goes Croga” (March 2024).