Raft of New Suits Seeks Past Damages Collection for Expired PersonalWeb Patents

January 14, 2018

The litigation campaign of PersonalWeb Technologies, L.L.C. has sprung back to life with the filing of more than three dozen new cases, one each against Advance Publications (Reddit), Airbnb, Atlassian, KickstarterPaypal (Venmo), Salesforce (Heroku), Square, and Webflow, among others, some in the Northern District of California, others in the Southern District of New York. The new complaints seek past damages for the alleged infringement of five expired patents already at issue throughout the campaign, which began in December 2011. As noted in an August 2013 order construing multiple claim terms recited in them, the patents-in-suit generally relate to “methods for identifying data items in a data processing system”, with infringement allegations focused on the manner in which the defendants’ websites distribute and serve web content in light of what content has been updated. Level 3 Communications appears as PersonalWeb’s coplaintiff in the complaints in satisfaction of a contractual obligation stemming from a 2000 agreement associated with the first transfer of (partial) rights to the asserted patents from original assignee Kinetech.

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