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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.
Facebook Wins Dismissal of $100M Mirror Worlds Technologies Suit as Plaintiff’s Parent Reports Disappointing Q2 Financial Results
August 17, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, Patent Litigation Feature
A New York judge has dismissed Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC’s (MWT’s) suit against Facebook. On August 11, District Judge John G. Koeltl granted summary judgment for the defendant, ruling that it had not infringed three document streaming patents through certain features of the Facebook platform, including the Timeline and News Feed features. The ruling comes as the plaintiff’s parent, publicly traded NPE Network-1 Technologies, Inc., reported a net loss and a drop in revenue for Q2 2018 as the result of an adverse ruling last year in the NPE’s Power over Ethernet campaign.
In “Long-Marooned” Case, Federal Circuit Holds That Voluntarily Dismissed Complaints Trigger IPR’s One-Year Time Bar
August 17, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has held that the voluntary dismissal of a district court complaint without prejudice does not prevent a lawsuit from triggering the statutory time bar for inter partes review (IPR). In an opinion issued on August 16 in Click-to-Call Technologies v. Ingenio, that central holding was reduced to a brief footnote that was decided 10-2 by the full Federal Circuit, while a three-judge panel ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) contrary interpretation of the statute governing the time bar (35 USC Section 315(b)) was erroneous.
Guyzar Dodges an Alice Attack, Leaves a $75K Damages Ask Hanging, and Files Yet More Cases
August 17, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
A couple of months after its last wave of suits ended, Guyzar LLC, an apparent affiliate of monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has filed another one. The NPE has sued AirBNB (1:18-cv-01256), America Movil (TracFone Wireless) (1:18-cv-01258), eBay (Stubhub) (1:18-cv-01257), and Nike (1:18-cv-05599) over the use of the OAuth protocol on their websites. The sole patent-in-suit generally relates to using a separate certification server to authenticate a first server without revealing confidential information about the user. While seeking a default judgment against a defendant in the last round, also targeted for its website operation, Guyzar—ordered to justify a $75K damages ask untethered to either a lost profits or reasonable royalty theory—voluntarily dismissed the case instead.
Huawei Added to Lemaire Campaign in Wake of Microsoft Settlement
August 16, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Huawei (2:18-cv-00353) is the latest defendant to be sued in the sole litigation campaign of inventor-backed Lemaire Illumination Technologies LLC over three patents generally related to controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode (LED). The new complaint follows a dismissal and settlement in a case brought against Microsoft last November. The NPE’s first case, filed against LG Electronics, was dismissed with prejudice just before that, while the only other active defendant in the campaign, HTC, answered Lemaire’s complaint in the Eastern District of Texas this past May. Since its inception in July 2016, Lemaire’s campaign has targeted color-adjusted camera flash systems within the defendants’ smartphones.
Quarterhill’s Q2 Highlights Include Multiple Patent Acquisitions Under Its “Partner Model”
August 15, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Publicly traded NPE Quarterhill Inc. released its Q2 earnings on August 9, reporting revenue of $20.4M, with over $73M cash on hand as of June 30, 2018. While licensing revenue fell to $3.97M (from $12M during the same period last year), the company inked at least one license with an operating company during the quarter, also picking up patents from MagnaChip and Panasonic. While Quarterhill did not file any new litigation in the US during Q2, its CEO told investors in an earnings call that his company’s “level of litigation activity remains constant”, with new and ongoing suits against Kingston, LG Electronics, Sharp, Sony, VIZIO, and others, “just to name a few”.
Corydoras Tags ASUSTek
August 14, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Corydoras Technologies, LLC has added a case against ASUSTek (2:18-cv-00351) to its litigation campaign, asserting a familiar set of seven patents, all broadly 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. The new suit joins open cases against Sony, filed just last month, and ZTE, filed in April but subsequently stayed, pending resolution of a remand from the Federal Circuit in a separate case against ZTE that vacated denial of a motion to dismiss for improper venue in the Eastern District of Texas. Throughout its campaign, Corydoras has focused its infringement allegations on phones and tablets with a display-side camera.
Express Mobile Hits Nearly Two Dozen Defendants in California and Delaware
August 12, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Express Mobile, Inc. has filed a slew of new cases in its litigation campaign, which has been targeting web authoring tools since April 2015. The complaints have been filed in either the District of Delaware or the Northern District of California, alleging infringement by nearly two dozen companies over their use of Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and/or WordPress. A Markman hearing in a declaratory judgment action, filed by X.Commerce (d/b/a Magento) in the Northern District of California, was held in May 2018. The court sought post-hearing briefing on previously construed or agreed-upon terms, in response to which the parties submitted the constructions of the Eastern District of Texas in a February 2018 order from a case consolidated across multiple defendants there. District Judge Richard Seeborg has yet to issue a claim construction ruling.
Sentius Revives Spellcheck Campaign Against Smartphone Makers
August 12, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Sentius International, LLC has rebooted its litigation campaign, filing two new lawsuits, one each against HTC (1:18-cv-01216) and LG Electronics (LGE) (1:18-cv-01217) in the District of Delaware. The complaints assert only one of the two reissued patents most recently at issue in this campaign; in the NPE’s last open case, filed in the Eastern District of Texas against BlackBerry, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap invalidated the sole asserted claim from the other patent for impermissible claim broadening through reissue proceedings. Both patents generally concern parsing and annotating document text, with the defendants accused of infringement through the provision of smartphones, along with certain preinstalled apps that allow text entry, and their systemwide spell-check features that highlight misspelled words and present suggested corrections.
MDL Panel Denies Realtime Adaptive Streaming’s Transfer Motion as Parent Files New Data Compression Suits
August 10, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, Patent Litigation Feature
Prolific litigant Realtime Data LLC (RTD) saw its long-running litigation campaign splinter off into a variety of new districts in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland, both through transfers (typically from Texas to California) and through new filings. The campaign’s defendant count now tops 110, with court disclosures revealing that the NPE has received funding from public litigation fund Juridica Investment Limited and Brickell Key Investments LP (which is handling Juridica’s run-off). Amidst that expansion, RTD subsidiary Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC (RTAS)—which joined the campaign in September 2017, asserting a family of homegrown video compression patents—moved in April 2018 to consolidate various pending lawsuits in either Texas or Colorado, the latter of which has in particular seen many new filings by RTD and RTAS since TC Heartland. However, that effort hit a wall earlier this month, when the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) denied the motion. Meanwhile, RTD has filed eight new suits in Delaware throughout early August, asserting a well-worn set of data compression and storage acceleration patents against Hitachi, Nutanix, and SoftNAS, among others.
Public Records Point to a Fortress Takeover of Uniloc’s Monetization Efforts
August 9, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Last week, RPX reported that a subsidiary of Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited had transferred more than 600 US assets to Fortress Investment Group LLC in May—the same month that Fortress announced a new, $400M IP fund focused on patent assertion. The transacted portfolio, which includes foreign counterparts in Asia and Europe, comprises former Pendrell Corporation assets (including patents originating with the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Philips, and IBM); homegrown Uniloc patents (naming CEO Craig Etchegoyen as inventor); and patents acquired from Ayalogic, Fullpower Technologies, HP Enterprise, and Paragon Solutions. Subsets of those patents have appeared in a recent barrage of new litigation against Amazon, BlackBerry, Huawei, Microsoft, Samsung, and ZTE (with some defendants hit with four or more lawsuits each), filed by subsidiaries of Fortress and Uniloc. Fortress’s new ownership of the majority of Uniloc’s former US patent portfolio, together with its role as coplaintiff in Uniloc’s latest suits, indicates that Fortress—not Uniloc—is likely now in control.
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