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IV and Desmarais Team Up to Develop New “Licensing and Litigation Programs”
April 19, 2019
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Earlier this month, Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) announced that it had entered into an agreement with Desmarais LLP, under which the firm “will work with IV executives to identify licensing and enforcement opportunities with companies currently unlicensed to IV’s portfolio”. This comes roughly six months after IV said that it was entering into a strategic partnership with Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC, by which that firm would “immediately begin marketing IV’s portfolio of innovations to interested technology and manufacturing companies”. Meanwhile, IV continues to peel off patents at a steady rate—including to NPEs—and as those assets spread, so does the reach of litigation involving IV divestitures.
Second Round Filed in Campaign Targeting Wireless Chargers Operating Under the Qi Standard
April 18, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
As the first round of suits in its sole litigation campaign winds down, Magnacharge LLC has filed a second, suing Panasonic (1:19-cv-00700), Philips (1:19-cv-00701), and Samsung (1:19-cv-00702), all in Delaware. The patent asserted generally relates to a “non-contact” charging device, with infringement allegations targeting wireless mobile device chargers that utilize the Qi standard, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium to govern the use of induction to transfer power wirelessly over short distances. Magnacharge’s new complaints call out Panasonic’s QE-TS101W Qi Mobile Wireless Charging Pad, DLP 9035/37 Qi Wireless Charger, and “Samsung Wireless Charger Pad Slim”. The plaintiff has disclosed Equitable IP Corporation as its corporate parent.
Supreme Court Refuses to Revive Tribe’s Sovereign Immunity Patent-Shielding Strategy
April 18, 2019
Biotech and Pharma, Patent Litigation Feature
The US Supreme Court has declined to grant certiorari in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals (2018-0899), ending a controversial patent-shielding strategy first used in late 2017 by a Native American tribe and its counsel. Under that strategy, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe acquired certain patents from pharmaceutical company Allergan and NPE SRC Labs, LLC, hoping to shield those assets from inter partes review (IPR) using the tribe’s sovereign immunity. However, in February and July 2018, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit each ruled that the tribe could not assert its immunity against IPR, although they each reached that conclusion on markedly different grounds from one another.
“Licensing Programs” Affiliated with Cotman’s 2S Ventures Launch Campaigns over “Nano Sensors” and Videoscopes
April 18, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Mechanical Consumer Products, Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
TZU Technologies LLC, one of the “licensing programs” under “intellectual property accelerator” 2S Ventures, LLC, has launched a second litigation campaign, this one over a patent, generally related to a “self-articulating behind-wall camera”, from a family familiar to litigation. The NPE has accused Fluke (2:19-cv-00561), Milwaukee Electric Tool (1:19-cv-00651), and Optim (1:19-cv-00709) of infringement through the provision of diagnostic scopes (e.g., a videoscope for insertion and inspection of a vehicle’s gas tank). The subject matter of TZU Technologies’s prior litigation campaign suggests that the proper pronunciation of the plaintiff’s name is meant to be “tease you”.
VoIP-Pal Announces Rejection of Takeover Bid by Former CEO of Apple
April 18, 2019
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Publicly traded NPE VoIP-Pal.com Inc. announced on April 16 that its board of directors had rejected a formal offer led by Gil Amelio and “his associates” to take over management of the company. Part of that offer, according to VoIP-Pal, “provided options to purchase only the stock owned by Voip-Pal’s CEO, Emil Malak”. While the company reportedly rejected the bid, it says it is “actively pursuing the sale of all of Voip-Pal’s shares, on behalf of the more than 4500 shareholders, not just the shares owned by Mr. Malak”. Monday’s announcement follows an Alice ruling last month that ended VoIP-Pal’s cases against Apple, AT&T, Twitter, and Verizon.
Sound View Sues Half a Dozen More Defendants, as Case Against Hulu Heats Up
April 18, 2019
Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation, enittyid:1067410
Sound View Innovations, LLC has added more cases to the campaign that it began back in 2016, suing Delta Air Lines (1:19-cv-00659) and Wal-Mart (1:19-cv-00660) over subsets of four and five patents, respectively, from the NPE’s large portfolio, most of which originated with Alcatel-Lucent. These new suits join early-stage cases filed against AMC Networks, CBS (CBS Interactive), HSN, Liberty Interactive (QVC), and The CW Network in January of this year. The Central District of California—in a 2017 filed against Hulu—has been considering a storm of motions for several months, including multiple dispositive motions on various issues, among them noninfringement, failure to prove invalidity, and alleged willful infringement; motions to permit both fact and expert discovery after the deadline for completion, and motions attacking the proposed testimony of each party’s expert witnesses.
Named Inventor, Through Recently Formed Texas Entity, Takes Aim at Amazon’s Alexa
April 18, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs
Vocalife LLC has filed its first lawsuit, accusing Amazon (2:19-cv-00123) of infringing a single patent generally related to a “microphone array system” that includes “a sound source localization unit, an adaptive beam forming unit, and a noise reduction unit”, each integrated with a digital signal processor. The plaintiff targets the provision of virtual assistant smart speakers and other products, including Alexa-enabled products such as the Amazon Echo, that allegedly implement such a “microphone array system”.
Rothschild Extends Media Storage Campaign into 2019
April 18, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Rothschild Broadcast Distribution Systems, LLC (RBDS), an affiliate of prolific inventor and frequent plaintiff Leigh M. Rothschild, has extended into 2019 a campaign begun back in March 2015, adding April suits filed against Alphabet (Nest Labs) (3:19-cv-01913), Amcrest Industries (4:19-cv-01211), Honeywell (1:19-cv-00703), and Manything Systems (3:19-cv-01917) to cases brought against D-Link Systems, Mubi, Y-Cam Solutions, and Zmodo in February of this year. These new complaints continue RBDS’s recent infringement focus on the provision of smart home systems, specifically those offering storage of security video footage. The sole patent-in-suit broadly relates to the storage of broadcast content.
One Rembrandt Affiliate Adds More Bluetooth Cases While Another Still Faces a Large Attorney Fees Award
April 17, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Eight months after a settlement ended years-long litigation against Samsung in the Eastern District of Texas and three months after suing Apple in that same district, Rembrandt Wireless Technologies, LP (Rembrandt WT) has filed a pair of Central District of California lawsuits, one each against Broadcom (8:19-cv-00708) and Qualcomm (8:19-cv-00705). Both companies are accused of infringing two wireless communications through the provision of various semiconductor products that implement Bluetooth, from single-chip Bluetooth products to full systems-on-chip and that allegedly support various versions of the Bluetooth Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) specification, including “Version 2.0 + EDR, Version 2.1 + EDR, Version 3.0 + HS, Version 4.0 + LE, Version 4.1, Version 4.2, or version 5”. Meanwhile, Rembrandt affiliates and the remaining defendants in a separate campaign have submitted competing approaches in Delaware for dealing with a Federal Circuit remand of a $51M attorney fees award against the NPEs.
Akoloutheo’s Rolls Quickly Through Cases in Early 2019
April 17, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, NPE, Networking
Its third case of 2019 already headed toward dismissal, Akoloutheo, LLC has filed suit against ThoughtSpot (4:19-cv-00270) in the Eastern District of Texas. In January, the NPE sued Mitel Networks and Palo Alto Networks and Oracle in February. Dismissals with prejudice have been granted in the January cases, while a motion for such a dismissal has been filed in the suit against Oracle. Throughout the campaign, the NPE has principally targeted network management platforms, here accusing ThoughtSpot of infringement through the provision of software and services related to business data analytics.
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