In Smartphone Camera Campaign, PTAB Setbacks Prompt Apparent Belt-and-Suspenders District Court Case

March 5, 2019

Just over a year ago, inventor-backed Lemaire Illumination Technologies LLC added an Eastern District of Texas case against HTC to its sole litigation campaign, targeting color-adjusted camera flash systems within the defendants’ smartphones with three patents broadly related to controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode (LED). That complaint highlighted one claim from each of the three patents. HTC countered, in part, with petitions for inter partes review (IPR) of the patents asserted, challenging those three highlighted claims, as well as others. The district court proceeded into claim construction, with Lemaire Illumination briefing disputes over terms from each patent, when the NPE, shortly thereafter, disclaimed before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) the highlighted claims for two of the patents. HTC has quickly moved in Texas for partial summary judgment as to those two patents, while Lemaire Illumination has filed an apparent belt-and-suspenders complaint (2:19-cv-00317)—naming HTC America, instead of its parent HTC Corporation, in a new forum. That second complaint asserts the same three patents against the same products but highlights different claims from those two patents in some trouble before the PTAB.

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