Quarterhill, a Top NPE Filer in 2017, Adds Microsoft to Speech Recognition Campaign

January 6, 2018

IPA Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Quarterhill Inc. (f/k/a Wi-LAN Inc.), has filed suit in Delaware against Microsoft (1:18-cv-00001), targeting the company’s Cortana digital assistant with two of the three speech recognition patents already at issue in the NPE’s broader campaign. This past November, District Judge Richard G. Andrews heard oral arguments on multiple motions to dismiss under Alice, challenging the patents-in-campaign as patent-ineligibly directed to the abstract idea of “responding to a spoken request”. In April 2017, Quarterhill announced plans to restructure its business model, de-emphasizing patent licensing and refocusing on the acquisition of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) businesses, later hiring as its new CEO an expert in acquisitions; nevertheless, Quarterhill found itself on the list of top-filing NPEs for 2017.

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