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Court Filings Disclose IV’s Interest in IPVal Litigation
September 23, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch, Semiconductors
Earlier this year, RPX flagged an SEC filing by NPE Quest Patent Research Corporation (QPRC) that revealed a financial stake held by Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) in QPRC’s litigation. A disclosure filed with the court this week in an IPValuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal) case suggests that IV—which has assigned at least 80 US assets to IPVal to date—may hold an interest in the success of additional NPE campaigns.
Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Ruling Upholding Finjan Patent as NPE Reports Jump in Revenue
September 21, 2018
Networking
Publicly traded NPE Finjan Holdings, Inc. has seen another one of its patents survive a validity challenge. On September 19, the Federal Circuit upheld a March 2017 decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), in an inter partes review (IPR) filed by Palo Alto Networks, finding that one of the NPE’s malware detection patents is not invalid as obvious. Ruling on appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s holding that the asserted combinations of prior art did not disclose a key claim limitation related to the processing of data received over a network. That decision comes shortly after Finjan, buoyed by recent settlements in its ongoing litigation campaign, reported $82.3M in revenue for the first half of 2018, an increase of more than 200% over the same period last year.
Acacia, Under New Leadership, Adds Defendants to Semiconductor Testing Campaign
September 21, 2018
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Acacia Research Corporation has not launched a new litigation campaign since mid-2015, but one of its many 2014 campaigns has now come back to life. Acacia subsidiary In-Depth Test LLC has filed new lawsuits, one each against NXP Semiconductors (1:18-cv-01461) and Qorvo (1:18-cv-01462) over the single patent asserted, which is generally related to semiconductor test systems. This recent activity follows multiple unsuccessful challenges to that patent through inter partes review (IPR), consideration of an Alice motion challenging the patent in existing district court cases, reopened after lengthy stays, and the approach of a claim construction hearing, in early October.
As Four Prior Defendants Exit Campaign, Checksum Sues Dell
September 21, 2018
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Checksum Ventures LLC, one of several affiliated NPEs to assert former Nero AG patents this year, has added Dell (1:18-cv-06321) to its litigation campaign. The patent-in-suit generally related to using checksums while storing data, with Dell accused of infringement through the provision of its EMC VNX Storage Systems, which Checksum Ventures alleges uses an SHA-1 hash value “for stored content on that storage system”. The prior four suits in this campaign have each been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, before the defendant has answered or otherwise responded, within weeks of each complaint’s filing.
August PTAB Activity Included IPRs Against Fortress NPEs, Among Other Prolific Filers
September 16, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, E-Commerce and Software, Media Content and Distribution, Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature, Semiconductors
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw activity in August 2018 involving a variety of frequent litigants. This included petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed against two NPEs controlled by Fortress Investment Group LLC, INVT SPE LLC and Uniloc 2017 LLC, the latter of which has in recent months cofiled a barrage of lawsuits with subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited (Uniloc). The PTAB also instituted trial in August for IPRs against Uniloc 2017 and some of its campaign coplaintiffs, and in an IPR against an NPE controlled by patent attorney Brian Yates, whose US litigation has waned as he pursues a new patent licensing initiative through his company iPEL, Inc. Finally, the PTAB issued final decisions in August for IPRs against Uniloc, Empire IP LLC, and Quarterhill Inc.
Complex Memory Campaign over Patents Received from IV Keeps Rolling, Despite Multiple Apparent Settlements
September 16, 2018
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
The 2017 cases in its sole litigation campaign either stayed in light of settlement negotiations or having settled already, Complex Memory LLC has added a second 2018 suit, this one against Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (1:18-cv-06255) in the Northern District of Illinois. Last month, the NPE, an affiliate of IPValuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), sued Renesas in the Northern District of California, while cases against SVTronics and Texas Instruments (TI) (on July 6) and Huawei (on July 26) were dismissed with prejudice in July. A November 2017 suit against ZTE has been stayed to facilitate settlement. All five cases have asserted the same five patents, broadly concerning various aspects of chip operation and memory access, with the suit against Renesas throwing in two additional such patents. At issue have principally been smartphones based around TI OMAP or ARM core architectures—in the complaint against Motorola Mobility, mobile devices “incorporating ARM Cortex-A53 and other ARM Cortex-A architectures, including Qualcomm Snapdragon, Kryo and Krait devices”.
ZTE Added to Rondevoo’s Special Character Entry Campaign
September 16, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Rondevoo Technologies, LLC has added ZTE (1:18-cv-06212) to the litigation campaign that it began in June of this year with cases filed against LG Electronics (LGE) in the District of Delaware and Sony in the Northern District of Illinois. The NPE has targeted the ability to enter alternate (i.e., accented) characters through the keypads of certain Android smartphones—in this latest complaint, calling out ZTE’s Max XL. Rondevoo asserts a single patent generally related to “clustering” keys on an input device, such as telephone keypad or computer keyboard, to facilitate selection entry. Rondevoo pleads that the “inventors” recognized “a need for improving cluster key arrangements for mobile devices such as cell-phones”, citing to the patent’s abstract for the statement that “[t]his cluster key arrangement may be mechanically configured or electronically configured”. The deadlines to answer or otherwise respond have been extended to September 17 and October 14 for LGE and Sony, respectively.
Apparent IP Edge Affiliate Launches Fax Data Transmission Campaign in Delaware
September 14, 2018
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Commtech IP LLC, an apparent affiliate of monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has launched a new litigation campaign, suing Black Box (1:18-cv-01428), Dialogic (1:18-cv-01429), Digi International (1:18-cv-01430), Synaptics (1:18-cv-01431), and Westermo Data (1:18-cv-01432) over the provision of various enterprise-grade networking and/or communications products that offer fax data transmission features based on certain communications standards (including ITU-T Recommendations V.34, V.8, V.8bis, V.22, and/or V.22bis). The new complaints assert a single patent that IP Edge acquired, through affiliate Intertechnology Global LLC, from Panasonic as part of a transaction comprising roughly 30 US assets. Last year, Intertechnology Global assigned a single patent to each of Techno Licensing LLC and Zavala Licensing LLC, which launched separate litigation campaigns in late 2017.
Intellectual Ventures Acquires Patents from Apparent Transpacific IP Affiliate
September 9, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) continues to divest patents at a rapid rate, including to NPEs. However, notable among the patent assignments recently made public by the USPTO are two acquisitions by IV—both from an apparent affiliate of Transpacific IP Group Limited. The transacted portfolios comprise US patents and foreign counterparts developed by Sarnoff Corporation (integrated with its parent corporation, SRI Research, in 2011) or Mitsubishi.
Dominion Campaign Asserting Former WiLAN Patents Grows Larger
September 7, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
The first week of September saw four new defendants added to a wireless communications campaign initiated by Cellular Transitions, LLC (CellTran) late last month. CellTran, an affiliate of Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC, has now hit ASUSTek, Razer, and LG Electronics (LGE) in the Central District of California; Huawei in the Eastern District of Texas; and Lenovo (with subsidiary Motorola Mobility) in Delaware. The defendants are accused of infringing two patents developed by NextWave Wireless (acquired by AT&T in 2013); CellTran’s infringement allegations focus on smartphones supporting LTE Advanced and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA).
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