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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.
Network Security Campaign, in Which IV Retains an Interest, Expands from New York, Texas, and California into Georgia
July 17, 2019
Networking, New Patent Litigation
FireNet Technologies, LLC, an affiliate of Georgia-based IP Investments Group LLC (d/b/a IPinvestments Group), a monetization firm controlled by Michael W. McLaughlin, has expanded yet again the campaign that it began last summer with separate suits filed against KEMP Technologies and Fujitsu. The NPE accuses Citrix (1:19-cv-03199) of infringing the same four network security patents already at issue in the campaign, through the provision of Citrix Application Delivery Controller (formerly NetScaler ADC) networking products and services, calling out “NetScaler ADC (also referred to as Citrix ADC) products, including hardware appliances (MPX and SDX), software implementations (VPX and CPX), and cloud implementations” specifically.
Inventor-Controlled Plaintiff Hits Samsung Mobile Payment Systems over “Magnetic Emulation Technologies”
July 12, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Dynamics Inc., billing itself as “an innovator in next-generation payment systems”, has filed suit against Samsung (1:19-cv-06479), accusing the company of infringing four patents generally relating to data transmission via “multifunction magnetic emulators”, “dynamic magnetic stripe communications devices”, and/or “magnetic stripe emulators”. The plaintiff reads the patents’ claims against certain Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, S10, Note8, and Note9 smartphones, as well as its Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch, targeting hardware components (e.g., MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) antenna, NFC (near field communication) antenna, wireless charging coil, etc.) of the devices that enable mobile proximity payments. Dynamics further pleads a breach of contract claim, alleging that Samsung divulged information provided by the plaintiff under NDA to LoopPay, a company that Samsung reportedly purchased for roughly $250M in 2015.
Spangenberg Entities Sued by Fortress Again, This Time in Texas State Court
July 12, 2019
Patent Market, Patent Watch
The fray between Fortress Investment Group LLC and Erich Spangenberg, over the transfer of a single patent currently active in litigation against Amazon, has now migrated from New York to Texas. The patent-at-issue is one among many assigned by Marathon Patent Group, Inc. to Fortress in 2017 after the NPE failed to repay Fortress $15.99M in debt financing. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) developed the patent, and it was the subject of litigation against Apple that ended in a reported $24.9M settlement in 2016.
New Mobile Check Deposit Campaign Hits Bank of America
July 12, 2019
Financial Services, New Patent Litigation
In a new Eastern District of Texas case, Bank of America (2:19-cv-00250) has been accused of infringing two patents generally related to using “ubiquitous imaging devices” to capture and transmit check images to a bank. The plaintiff is Lighthouse Consulting Group LLC, which targets Bank of America over the provision of a remote deposit feature within its “Mobile Checking Application”, perhaps a reference to the defendant’s mobile banking app. Lighthouse Consulting Group alleges that the defendant has been aware of the patents-in-suit since it entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the plaintiff in 2007.
After Berkheimer and Aatrix Block Another Early Alice Challenge, NPE Expands Conferencing Campaign
July 12, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Visible Connections, LLC, an NPE affiliated with Atlanta-based monetization firm IP Investments Group LLC (d/b/a IPinvestments Group), has filed a second case in the campaign that it began last October. The new defendant is Zoom Video Communications (1:19-cv-03148), which is targeted with the same two patents—one generally related to teleconferencing via a data connection; the other, to real-time application sharing—over the provision of its Zoom Meetings, which features audio and video conferencing. This second case in the campaign follows a decision by District Judge Robert Pitman in the Western District of Texas that cites Berkheimer and Aatrix in rejecting a Rule 12 motion challenging the same two patents under Alice.
Gaming Campaign Expands Ahead of Joint Claim Construction Hearing in Texas
July 11, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Sony (2:19-cv-00248) has been added as a defendant in a gaming campaign headed toward a mid-August joint claim construction hearing in Texas. Terminal Reality Inc. and Infernal Technology, LLC, as patent owner and exclusive licensee, respectively, accuse Sony of infringing two patents—generally related to lighting and shadowing in computer graphics—through the provision of game engines “that are capable of performing deferred rendering, deferred shading, deferred lighting, physically based shading, and/or physically based rendering”, as well as through the provision of video games allegedly developed using those engines, including Everquest Next, Gran Turismo Sport, Horizon: Zero Dawn, the inFAMOUS series, and Knack.
Inventor-Controlled Entity Launches Image Correction Campaign
July 10, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Optimum Imaging Technologies LLC has filed suit against Canon (2:19-cv-00246) over the provision of certain cameras and camcorders, including EOS series cameras, PowerShot series cameras, the VIXIA HF G50 camcorder, and the XA20 camcorder. At issue is the “lens aberration correction” feature included in the software of the devices, with two patents—generally related to in-camera systems for filtering and correcting distortions—asserted.
Touchscreen Campaign Expands with Ten New Patents Asserted in District Court, as the ITC Institutes an Investigation Against the Same Defendants over the Prior Four
July 7, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Neodrón Limited has expanded the campaign that it began both in the Western District of Texas and before the International Trade Commission (ITC) in May. The NPE has filed a second set of Western District of Texas suits against prior defendants/respondents Amazon (6:19-cv-00395), Dell (6:19-cv-00396), Lenovo (Motorola Mobility) (6:19-cv-00398), Microsoft (6:19-cv-00399), and Samsung (6:19-cv-00400), while adding HP (6:19-cv-00397) as a defendant for the first time. (Neodron has also filed an amended complaint in a May case against HP Enterprise, naming HP as the defendant in that action instead.) The new raft of complaints adds ten more patents to the four already asserted in the campaign, all of them acquired from Microchip in December 2018. At issue are various computing devices of the defendants that have touchpads or touchscreens.
Federal Circuit Affirms Most of Cisco Reexam Win Against VirnetX
July 7, 2019
Networking, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has largely upheld an invalidity ruling for Cisco against a patent asserted by VirnetX, Inc. throughout its long-running litigation campaign. On June 28, the court reversed the invalidation of three claims cancelled in a Cisco inter partes reexamination, ruling that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had erred by not considering certain arguments and by not making certain factual findings. It therefore remanded the case for further consideration of those claims (2018-1751), after affirming the PTAB’s invalidation of 33 other claims from the same patent, finding no reversible error in that portion of the Board’s analysis. The affected patent has been asserted in multiple VirnetX cases that have gone to trial, including one that led to a 2013 noninfringement verdict as to Cisco and several verdicts involving Apple, some of which have been overturned amidst an ongoing appellate battle between Apple and the NPE.
Image Capture and Editing Campaign Grows to Include a Dozen Patents, of Disparate Original Sources, All Received from IV
July 6, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation
Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. has added an Eastern District of Texas suit against Panasonic (2:19-cv-00241) to the campaign that it began in May by suing first Advert Tech in the Northern District of Illinois and then Photonics Management and Teledyne Digital Imaging in the District of Delaware. The NPE had just received roughly 50 patents formerly held by Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV). In early June, Cedar Lane added to the campaign another Illinois suit, against 123RF, and another Delaware case, against PicMonkey. The complaint against Panasonic asserts three of those patents, all generally related to image capture or correction, targeting the defendant over the provision of the Lumix GX880, DMC-FZ100, and DMC-GH2 cameras.
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