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Each week, RPX publishes the latest news on patent litigation and market trends. Never miss a headline. Get them delivered right to your inbox.
Princeps Keyboard Campaign Back Up and Running, Outside of Delaware
January 19, 2020
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Princeps Secundus LLC has filed suit against Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (1:20-cv-00318) in the Northern District of Illinois, completing the shift of the entire campaign out of Delaware, where initial cases were filed against Motorola Mobility, as well as Alphabet (Google) and Apple last summer. The initial plaintiff, Princeps Interface Technologies LLC (PIT), transferred the asserted keyboard patent to Princeps Secundus after those initial cases were filed—and dismissed without prejudice. Targeted throughout has been the defendants’ provision of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, and/or others (e.g., Apple’s iPod)—with keyboard setup and selection features that allow users to switch between keyboards in various languages and/or a menu of emojis.
IV’s Late 2019 Divestitures to a Group of Georgia NPEs Topped 2,000 US Assets, According to USPTO Records
January 17, 2020
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Last week, RPX noted a series of late-2019 patent assignments from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) to a batch of newly formed NPEs with apparent ties to an Atlanta law firm. With additional IV divestures to that group having since been made public by the USPTO, the scope of the transactions—which collectively involved upwards of 2,000 US assets, including many developed by major operating companies—is now coming into focus.
Supreme Court’s Denial of Berkheimer Appeal Leaves Alice Constraints in Place
January 17, 2020
Top Insight
The Federal Circuit’s February 2018 opinions in Berkheimer and Aatrix have significantly curtailed the application of Alice in district court litigation through their ruling that factual disputes over a patent’s inventiveness may preclude early dismissal under Section 101. As detailed in RPX’s latest quarterly review, Alice invalidation rates have been significantly lower since Berkheimer’s issuance, with patents challenged and adjudicated since then seeing claims cancelled over 20% less frequently. Now, with the US Supreme Court’s decision not to revisit Berkheimer, a new normal may have taken hold. Here, RPX takes a look at the latest data and the road ahead for Section 101.
Automaker Targeted with Anti-Rollover Patents Months After Noninfringement Ruling in Dealer’s Favor
January 16, 2020
Automotive, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Arsus, LLC has filed suit against Tesla (3:20-cv-00313), charging the automaker with infringement of two patents generally related to a vehicle steering control system that limits the steering range to prevent a rollover. The plaintiff targets provision of the Tesla S, X, and Model 3, “equipped with Tesla’s so-called Auto-pilot system”. In November 2019, the Federal Circuit affirmed District of Utah Judge Dee V. Benson’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement to a local BMW dealer, John H. Firmage, Inc. (d/b/a BMW of Murray). In that order, Judge Benson ruled that, even without the benefit of claim construction, the accused BMW system “never actually prevents the vehicle from being steered beyond a rollover threshold at any point” by a driver.
Altaba Begins Sale of Its Remaining Alibaba Shares
January 16, 2020
E-Commerce and Software, In Case You Missed It
In connection with its liquidation and dissolution plan announced last year, Altaba Inc., the investment management company formerly known as Yahoo, has begun selling its remaining stake in Alibaba Holding. According to an SEC filing dated January 13, Altaba expects to complete the sale of all its holdings in Alibaba in the coming days. As of the publication date of this article, Altaba had sold 2,196,592 shares at an average price per share of $227.63, for total proceeds of roughly $500M.
Telehealth Company Announces a “Robust” Patent Enforcement Initiative
January 16, 2020
In Case You Missed It, Medical
Telehealth company Parallax Health Sciences (OTC-Pink:PRLX) is planning to launch a patent enforcement initiative, according to a statement issued earlier this month. The company intends to begin “asserting and monetizing its intellectual property patent rights within the Human Diagnostics and Behavioral Healthcare markets” and reports seeking “top patent litigation law firm” representation as well as “non-dilutive litigation financing”.
Zscaler to Pay Broadcom $15M to Resolve Symantec Patent Suits
January 16, 2020
E-Commerce and Software, In Case You Missed It
Zscaler announced on January 14 that it has reached a settlement and license agreement with Broadcom, resolving all patent lawsuits filed by Symantec against Zscaler. The deal follows Broadcom’s recent purchase of Symantec’s enterprise security business and subsequent acquisition of Symantec’s patents-in-suit. As part of the settlement, Zscaler will pay Broadcom $15M in exchange for a patent license, release, and covenant not to sue.
New Wireless Campaign Launched over Patent Long Withheld by Military
January 15, 2020
Networking, New Patent Litigation
As a recently reported assignment suggested, Delaware plaintiff Castlemorton Wireless, LLC has launched litigation, suing Avaya (1:20-cv-00059), Cox (1:20-cv-00060), Datto (1:20-cv-00058), and Onkyo (Pioneer Electronics) (1:20-cv-00057) in the state of its formation, as well as Arista Networks (6:20-cv-00023), Bose (6:20-cv-00029), Charter Communications (6:20-cv-00024), Comcast (6:20-cv-00034), Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) (6:20-cv-00027), Juniper Networks (6:20-cv-00026), Nokia (6:20-cv-00037), SoftBank (Sprint) (6:20-cv-00036), and Verizon (6:20-cv-00035) in the Western District of Texas and Consolidated Communications (5:20-cv-00005) and F-Secure (5:20-cv-00007) in the Eastern District of Texas. A single patent, generally related to the use of radio-frequency (RF) measurement equipment to detect the carrier frequency of a symmetrical, direct-sequence, spread-spectrum (DSSS) signal, is asserted. The NPE’s infringement allegations target a wide range of Wi-Fi-enabled products (including network management systems; access points, routers, gateways, and wireless modules; IP phones and videophones; and AV receivers) that support the detection of a carrier frequency in a DSSS signal through their implementation of the 802.11b and g standards.
Round of Four Cases Filed in LED Campaign with Connections to Litigation Funder
January 15, 2020
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Bench Walk Lighting, LLC has followed up an October 2019 settlement in a case against OSRAM with four new Delaware suits, one each against Everlight Electronics (1:20-cv-00049), Lextar Electronics (1:20-cv-00047), LG Electronics (LG Innotek) (1:20-cv-00051), and Lite-On Technology (1:20-cv-00052). Overlapping subsets of the 14 patents asserted against OSRAM, generally related to LED modules and related components (e.g., flashes and displays), are at issue in the new complaints. The defendants are accused of infringement through the provision of LED modules, including some used as smartphone camera flashes.
Arthrex Debate Continues as Government and Parties Spar in Companion Case
January 12, 2020
Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit’s October decision in Arthrex has cast doubt upon numerous invalidity proceedings through its holding that the appointment of administrative patent judges (APJs) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is unconstitutional—and a recent RPX analysis indicates that hundreds of America Invents Act (AIA) reviews may be subject to rehearing as a result. Now, the debate over the merits of the decision has taken further shape in another appeal involving the same issue, Polaris Innovations Limited v. Kingston Technology (2018-1831). On January 6, the US government and both parties each filed detailed briefs answering questions from the court about the lingering constitutional questions raised by Arthrex.
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