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Deep Web Tags Ask Media for a Second Time over Search Technology Patents
April 7, 2020
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Deep Web, L.L.C. has returned to litigation, suing one of the same parties—IAC (Ask Media Group) (5:20-cv-02262)—from the 2014 start of its campaign. Asserted are three patents from the same family of five, all generally related to search technology, with Ask Media again accused of infringement over the provision of the Ask.com search engine. Deep Web sued IAC in 2014 at the same time that it sued Microsoft; the latter case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice; the former, without prejudice.
Facing Alice Headwinds in California, VoIP-Pal Turns to West Texas for Latest Suits
April 6, 2020
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
April 2019 saw District Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California invalidate under Alice the asserted claims of two patents asserted by publicly traded NPE VoIP-Pal.com Inc. in cases against Apple, AT&T, Twitter, and Verizon. VoIP-Pal rejected a takeover bid the next month, and then, last November, Judge Koh invalidated the asserted claims of four more patents from the same family, also under Alice. That order ended a suit against Amazon, as well as a second case against Apple. The decision has been appealed to the Federal Circuit, which just last month affirmed Judge Koh’s first Alice order. Undeterred, the NPE has filed  two new suits, asserting the most recent patent to issue in the same family against Alphabet (Google) (6:20-cv-00269) and Facebook (WhatsApp) (6:20-cv-00267) in a new venue—the Western District of Texas.
IP Edge’s Bluetooth 4.0 Campaign Hits Defendants in a Wide Range of Districts Across the US
April 6, 2020
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Sonohm Licensing LLC, a plaintiff affiliated with Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has followed up its February case against Tangent Computer (3:20-cv-01511) with March suits against Avalue Technology (1:20-cv-00856), CONTEC (1:20-cv-00422), MilDef (1:20-cv-00423), Nex Computers (4:20-cv-02150), Superlogics (1:20-cv-10642), and VTech Holdings (Leapfrog Enterprises) (4:20-cv-02148), filed in a variety of judicial districts across the US. The NPE asserts in each complaint two patents generally related to wireless communication, with infringement allegations trained on a wide variety of devices alleged to use Bluetooth 4.0. After the February dismissal with prejudice of a declaratory judgment action brought by Amazon and the March dismissal with prejudice of an affirmative case against Mattel, the new suits join one open case in the campaign, active in the District of Utah against Juniper Systems.
VoIP Campaign of IP Edge Expands in Delaware and Florida
April 6, 2020
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Tekvoke LLC, an apparent IP Edge LLC plaintiff, has added suits against 3CX (8:20-cv-00721), DialogTech (1:20-cv-00452), Fuze (1:20-cv-00453), Grandstream Networks (1:20-cv-00454), PayG (d/b/a SkySwitch) (8:20-cv-00722), and Voyant Communications (1:20-cv-00455) to the litigation campaign begun last November. The NPE targets the defendants over the provision of their respective VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) platforms, including the DialogTech Conversation Intelligence, Fuze Calling, Grandstream Call Center, and Voyant UCaaS platforms, respectively. A single patent, broadly related to an Internet-based telephone system, is asserted throughout; it is one of roughly 30 former Panasonic patents that IP Edge picked up in 2017.
California Court Sets FRAND Issues Between Ericsson and TCL for Trial
April 5, 2020
In Case You Missed It, Mobile Communications and Devices
Early last December, the Federal Circuit overturned a Central District of California decision that offers made by Ericsson to mobile device maker TCL had purportedly not been fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) and that set the terms of a FRAND license. That lower court decision, held the Federal Circuit, deprived Ericsson of its constitutional right to a jury trial by deciding a key license term from the bench, and now, upon remand, District Judge James V. Selna has cleared the way for Ericsson and TCL to try their disputes to a jury.
Recent Alice Order in Delaware Invites Comparison with the Western District of Texas
April 5, 2020
Patent Litigation Feature
District Judge Richard G. Andrews has invalidated claims from two patents “directed to a ‘nano gas sensor device’ that detects and changes in reaction to the presence of a gas, chemical, or biological object” under Alice. The court held that the claims are patent-ineligibly directed to the abstract idea of a sensor, observing along the way that the plaintiff, NPE Rondevoo Technologies, LLC, has filed numerous complaints throughout the country with “virtually no real litigation in any of these cases”. Judge Andrews’s order comes as the Western District of Texas has cemented its place at the top of list of patent venues favored by NPE plaintiffs, outpacing Delaware in the first quarter.
In Its First Campaign Since 2012, Concert Technology Takes Aim at Smartphone Makers, Dating and Ridesharing Apps
April 3, 2020
Patent Market, Patent Watch
In January, RPX flagged a series of internal patent assignments among subsidiaries of Concert Technology Corporation, questioning whether they signaled a possible reboot by the NPE. A group of complaints filed this past week against Bumble, LG Electronics, Lyft, and Samsung by Ikorongo Technology, LLC and Ikorongo Texas, LLC indicate that Concert is indeed back in the business of patent monetization.
IP Edge Initiates First New Litigation Campaign of 2020 with a Patent Curiously Sourced
April 2, 2020
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Sunset Licensing LLC has sued Azuga (5:20-cv-02174), CalAmp (4:20-cv-00267), Marelli Holding (1:20-cv-00448), Sierra Wireless (1:20-cv-00449), Skypatrol (1:20-cv-00450), Smartrak (3:20-cv-02176), and Torre Industries (MiX Telematics) (4:20-cv-01154) in various districts. Each defendant is accused of infringing a single patent, generally related to monitoring the speed of a vehicle, through the provision of devices capable of tracking vehicle speed. With recent years past as prologue, and particularly given other recent IP Edge LLC activity, this new campaign appears to be the first of many—with USPTO assignment records suggesting that some may see patents asserted from the same source.
IP Edge’s Second Campaign of 2020 Also Concerns a Patent Picked Up from Another NPE
April 2, 2020
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Pearl IP Licensing LLC, an entity apparently associated with Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has sued Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) (6:20-cv-00260) over a single patent generally related to a circuit that can recover from certain “stress conditions”. T-Mobile is accused of infringement through the provision of certain “apparatus[es]”—identifying as an exemplary accused product the Motorola Z2 Force smartphone, targeted over its inclusion of Qualcomm processors with certain power and voltage management features. Pearl IP asserts current ownership of the former Cypress Semiconductor patent, which currently available USPTO records indicate was received by IP Edge as part of a larger assignment from another NPE.
AIM’s Empire Technology Releases Its Assets from a Security Interest in Batches
April 2, 2020
Patent Market, Patent Watch
In December 2018, Empire Technology Development LLC, a subsidiary of Allied Inventors Management, LLC (AIM), granted a security interest in thousands of patent assets to Crestline Direct Finance, a subsidiary of Crestline Investors. Between May 2019 and March 2020, as part of an apparent effort to wind down monetization efforts, Empire Technology has recorded a series of releases of the Crestline security interest over batches of those patents, several of which were inked just before assignment of the batches to third parties, including to both operating companies and NPEs. One of those NPEs has already begun litigating the recently received patent.
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