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Following June Dismissals, Mesa Digital Adds Huawei and ZTE to Smartphone Campaign
July 15, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
On the heels of three voluntary dismissals in cases brought in February of this year, Mesa Digital LLC has filed two new complaints, one each against Huawei (2:18-cv-00285) and ZTE (1:18-cv-04775). The new suits assert the same two patents, generally related to “multimedia” mobile devices, seen in the recently dismissed complaints against Amazon (voluntarily dismissed without prejudice), BlackBerry (with prejudice), and Sony (without prejudice). At issue are smartphones, with Huawei’s P10 and ZTE’s Axon Elite called out in each complaint, respectively.
With Original Case Dismissed Due to Botched Transfer of Rights, WiLAN Refiles Against LGE
July 14, 2018
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Quarterhill Inc. (then named Wi-LAN Inc.) underwent a corporate restructuring last June, after which it apparently failed to properly transfer rights to a group of networking patents it had asserted against LG Electronics (LGE) earlier in the year. Now, with its original case against LGE having been dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, Quarterhill (as Wi-LAN Inc.Wi-LAN USA, Inc.; and Wi-LAN Labs, Inc.; collectively WiLAN) has refiled against LGE, asserting the same four networking patents at issue in the original case (3:18-cv-01577).
Uniloc Files Four More Cases Against Amazon, Asserting Two Patents New to Litigation and Two at Issue in an Existing Campaign
July 13, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Media Content and Distribution, Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Uniloc 17 LLC (identified as the asserted patents’ owner) and Uniloc USA, Inc. (identified as their exclusive licensee) have collectively filed four new lawsuits against Amazon (2:18-cv-00286, 2:18-cv-00287, 2:18-cv-00289, 2:18-cv-00290) in the Eastern District of Texas. Two of those cases appear to have launched new campaigns, separately asserting for the first time in litigation one patent generally related to digital video compression, and another generally related to providing variable bit rate in a streaming service. The other two cases add Amazon to an existing Uniloc campaign, begun in June 2016 by plaintiffs Uniloc Luxembourg S.A. (as patent owner) and Uniloc USA (as exclusive licensee), which have together sued more than 30 defendants over a family of patents broadly concerning group voice messaging, in complaints previously filed through June 2017. These other new complaints also identify Uniloc 17 as the patents’ owner and Uniloc USA as their exclusive licensee.
Its Case Against ZTE Stayed, Corydoras Tags Sony
July 13, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Its earlier open case, filed in April 2018 against ZTE having hit a few snags, inventor-controlled Corydoras Technologies, LLC has filed a new case against Sony (2:18-cv-00288). The complaint asserts the same seven patents, generally related to various aspects of a mobile communications device that displays a mirror image of an object taken from a camera facing the direction of the display. Throughout its campaign, Corydoras has focused its infringement allegations on phones and tablets with a display-side camera; the Sony complaint calls out “Sony branded mobile phones that include a front camera”, noting the Xperia smartphones specifically.
Federal Circuit Declines to Undo Reversal of Network-1 PTAB Ruling, Upholding Google Win
July 13, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, Patent Litigation Feature
Publicly traded Network-1 Technologies, Inc. has seen another setback after reporting mixed financial results for the first quarter, as the Federal Circuit has just declined to overturn an adverse appeal ruling in favor of Google and subsidiary YouTube. On July 10, the Federal Circuit summarily declined to grant an en banc or panel rehearing of its March opinion that reversed a series of final decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in four inter partes reviews (IPRs) filed by Google and YouTube. In that upheld opinion, the court ruled that the Board had erred in declining to cancel claims from four of the NPE’s content identification patents due to an improper claim construction. The holding comes as Network-1 contends with the partial invalidation, late last year, of a patent from another portfolio that has been responsible for the majority of its licensing revenue.
PTAB Ruling Against ContentGuard Is Overturned, Board Ordered to Revisit Patent’s CBM Determination
July 13, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has reversed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruling that cancelled three claims from a ContentGuard Holdings, Inc. digital rights management (DRM) patent, holding that the PTAB had incorrectly determined that the challenged patent qualified for covered business method (CBM) review. In a July 11 opinion, the court held for two CBM reviews filed by Apple and Google (CBM2015-00040, CBM2015-00160) that the Board had erred by ruling that the patent was a CBM patent because the claimed technology was “incidental to” or “complimentary to” a financial activity, a standard that the Federal Circuit had since rejected as overly broad in Unwired Planet v. Google.
Dominion Harbor Begins Assertion of Patents from a Large Portfolio of Former NEC Patents
July 10, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Vista Peak Ventures, LLC, an affiliate of Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC, has filed its first cases asserting patents from a large portfolio of former NEC patents that it acquired from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) earlier this year. The plaintiff has targeted flat panel displays sold by Taiwanese manufacturers AU Optronics, spread across three cases (2:18-cv-00276, -00278, -00279), or Innolux (2:18-cv-00280, -00281, -00282, -00283), spread across four cases, all filed in the Eastern District of Texas. The seven new complaints together assert 21 patents from the former NEC portfolio—a total of 13 against AU Optronics and a total of 20 against Innolux.
Inventor-Controlled NPE Targets “Do Not Disturb” Feature in Apple iOS 11
July 10, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled SMTM Technology, LLC has filed a new complaint, accusing Apple (3:15-cv-02396) of infringing a single patent generally related to placing a mobile device in an “inactive mode” while paired with a vehicle. The plaintiff briefly asserted the same patent in a barebones, May 2015 complaint filed in the Northern District of California against Microsoft, targeting that company’s Lumia mobile phones; that case was voluntarily dismissed (with prejudice) within one month of its filing. In the new complaint, SMTM Technology’s infringement allegations focus on the “‘Do Not Disturb’ while driving software” within Apple’s iOS 11.
VIS Litigates Recently Issued Patents While Prosecuting Multiple, Related Applications
July 8, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation
Last August, Virginia Innovation Sciences, Inc. (VIS) filed additional, separate cases against Amazon and HTC, asserting patents that had just issued in a large family already in litigation against the two companies. Those suits were dismissed without prejudice shortly thereafter, apparently to let the earlier cases play out. They now have—at least partially. In an April 2018 per curiam decision, the Federal Circuit upheld judgments from the Eastern District of Virginia ending cases in Amazon’s and HTC’s favor as to most of the patents asserted, and earlier in the year, VIS appealed subsequent orders in the defendants’ favor as to the remaining patents. Rather than await outcomes in those second appeals, VIS has opened up new cases against both Amazon (4:18-cv-00474) and HTC (4:18-cv-00476), this time asserting even newer patents, issuing in March 2018 and April 2018, as well as reasserting those August 2017 patents. The plaintiff has also filed separate cases against Honeywell (4:18-cv-00475) and Philadelphia Contributionship Mutual (Vector Security) (4:18-cv-00477), asserting one of the 2018 patents also at issue against Amazon and HTC. All of this new litigation has been filed in the Eastern District of Texas, rather than in Virginia.
A Batch of Network Security Patents, Held for Years by IV, Appear in Recent Litigation Campaign
July 7, 2018
Networking, New Patent Litigation
FireNet Technologies, LLC has followed up last month’s case against KEMP Technologies (1:18-cv-05564) in the Southern District of New York with a second suit in the campaign, this one filed against Fujitsu (2:18-cv-00270) in the Eastern District of Texas. Both complaints assert four patents, generally related to network security, recently received from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV). Fujitsu is accused of infringement through the provision of “networking products and services with firewall security, including, but not limited to, implementations comprising Fujitsu servers (such as PRIMERGY servers), Fujitsu storage equipment (such as ETERNUS servers), and incorporating Fujitsu network security solutions, such as NS Appliance and/or NS Options, including their dedicated, hardware, and cloud implementations”.
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