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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.
TiVo Begins Internal Preparations for Possible Split of Its Product and Licensing Businesses
March 3, 2019
Patent Market, Patent Watch
TiVo’s interim CEO Raghu Rau told investors in a February 26 earnings call that the company’s strategic review process continues, including through discussions with parties interested in each of TiVo’s product and IP licensing businesses. While the process is taking longer than expected, Rau said TiVo has begun internal preparations “for the possible separation of the businesses”.
Under New Ownership, PanOptis Files Its First New Litigation in Years, Hitting Apple
March 2, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Weeks after the announcement of its acquisition by private equity firm Brevet Capital, PanOptis Holdings, LLC (through various litigating affiliates) has filed its first new infringement case in two years, suing Apple in the Eastern District of Texas over a group of patents declared essential to the LTE standard (2:19-cv-00066). Apple is accused of infringing the patents-in-suit—each of which originated with Ericsson, LG Electronics (LGE), Panasonic, or Samsung—through provision of “all [its] products capable of implementing the LTE standard”, including all “LTE-capable models” of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Watch products. Three of the patents-in-suit have been previously asserted by PanOptis in a campaign that has also hit BlackBerry, Huawei, Kyocera, and ZTE.
Fortress Triples Down Against Intel in Delaware, Where Recent Appointee’s Ruling May Signal a Steep Climb for Transfers
March 2, 2019
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
The battle between VLSI Technology LLC and Intel has heated up for a third time. In October 2017, VLSI Technology, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, sued Intel in the Northern District of California (5:17-cv-056571) over eight patents, and in June 2018, the NPE opened up a second litigation front, suing Intel in the District of Delaware (1:18-cv-00966) over five more. Now, in the immediate wake of a mid-February order constructing claims in California and an Intel motion to stay the California action in light of multiple instituted trials in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings—and after the Delaware court last year refused to transfer the case before it to California—VLSI Technology has hit Intel a second time in Delaware (1:19-cv-00426), this case asserting six more patents from the NPE’s sizable portfolio of assets originating principally with either Freescale, NXP, SigmaTel, or VLSI Technology, Inc. 
A Second IP Edge Affiliate Asserts a Former Siemens Patent, in Campaign over Motion Sensors
March 1, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Another IP Edge LLC affiliate has launched a litigation campaign over a patent from a portfolio that the Texas monetization firm acquired from Siemens last October. Pinek IP LLC has accused Fibar (1:19-cv-01463), Honeywell (1:19-cv-00425), Lutron Electronics (1:19-cv-01487), Monitronics (2:19-cv-00074), Robert Bosch (Bosch Security Systems) (1:19-cv-00424), and Sercomm (3:19-cv-01133) of infringing one of those patents, generally pertaining to firing a circuit in response to an “activation signal”, through the provision of motion sensors used to trigger intrusion alarms. The NPE filed this campaign across districts in California, Delaware, Illinois, and Texas.
A Third IP Edge Affiliate Asserts a Former Siemens Patent, This Campaign over Conference Call Notifications
March 1, 2019
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Wave Linx LLC, an affiliate of Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has asserted another patent from among those acquired from Siemens in October 2018. The NPE targets Blue Jeans Network (1:19-cv-00419), HighFive Technologies (1:19-cv-00420), LogMeIn (1:19-cv-00421), Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (Arkadin) (1:19-cv-00418), RingCentral (1:19-cv-00422), and Zoom Video Communications and Zoom Voice Communications (1:19-cv-00423), all in the District of Delaware, over their provision of online meeting or conferencing systems that provide a notification when a participant has entered or exited via a phone connection (e.g., by playing a tone, allowing users to hear the name of the participant, or showing a visual notification).
IP Edge Launches a Fourth Campaign, Here Targeting Surveillance System DVRs, over a Former Siemens Patent
March 1, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation
Distech Controls (1:19-cv-00417) is the first defendant to be sued by Raven Licensing LLC, an affiliate of Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC. Together with Pinek IP LLC, Rainey Circuit LLC, and Wave Linx LLC, Raven Licensing is the fourth IP Edge affiliate to litigate a patent from among the 30 US patents received, together with a number of foreign counterparts in Asia and Europe, from Siemens in October 2018. The patent Raven Licensing asserts broadly concerns a system for monitoring a “spatial region”, with infringement allegations naming Distech’s VM-DM/DVIP/NV8 Series Real Time Recorders.
Supreme Court Declines to Revisit Rule That Foreign Corporations May Be Sued in Any District
March 1, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature
The US Supreme Court caused a dramatic realignment in patent venue through its May 2017 decision in TC Heartland, ruling that the patent-specific venue statute governs in patent suits and confirming that corporations “reside” in their state of incorporation. However, in that opinion, the Court explicitly declined to address any impact on foreign defendants or to revisit an earlier holding that preserved a far more expansive rule for such parties. That 1972 decision, Brunette Machine Works v. Kockum Industries, reaffirmed that foreign defendants may be sued in any district, a longstanding principle known as the “alien venue rule”. Now, the Court has strengthened Brunette by denying a petition for certiorari in which HTC had argued that Brunette was inconsistent with TC Heartland and the general venue statute, as amended in 2011.
Texas Jury Returns Verdict in Conversant Damages Retrial
March 1, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature
A Texas jury has returned a new damages verdict in litigation brought by Conversant Wireless Licensing S.à.r.l. (f/k/a Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.l.) against LG Electronics (LGE) (2:14-cv-00912). In September 2016, another jury issued a verdict of infringement in the case’s first trial against LGE, but the court granted LGE a new trial on damages in September 2018 due to a series of errors made by the plaintiff’s damages expert. The resulting verdict in that second trial included a damages award of $3.5M.
Data Scape Sues Fifteenth Defendant Since Late December
February 28, 2019
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Verizon (Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless) (6:19-cv-00174) is the latest company to be sued in the growing litigation campaign of Irish NPE Data Scape Limited, joining Box, Dell, and Dropbox as defendants in the Western District of Texas. Since late December, Data Scape has also filed multiple cases in districts in California, Colorado, and Texas, each asserting a subset of nearly two dozen patents that the NPE received from Sony in March 2017. The patents generally relate to storing and syncing data files in a distributed computing environment, with infringement allegations throughout the campaign focusing on products and services that sync documents and data across servers and client devices. Against Verizon, Data Scape targets the provision of smartphones using the Verizon Cloud application (offering data backup and sync features), including the Palm smartphone; and of the “Verizon Connect ‘Work’ software and service, the ‘Fleetmatics Work’ software and service, and the Work Mobile application”.
BlackBerry Sues Twitter in Growing Campaign of Its Own
February 27, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, Mobile Communications and Devices, Networking, New Patent Litigation
BlackBerry has added Twitter (2:19-cv-01444) to the litigation campaign that it launched in July 2016, having already hit Avaya, BLU Products, Facebook, Nokia, and Snap to date. While the campaign has seen many more patents asserted, this latest complaint accuses Twitter of infringing six, generally related to various subject matters, including mobile devices, messaging services, and related networking equipment, through the provision of a variety of features of Twitter Ads and the Twitter app. The campaign has also seen Alphabet (Google) challenge several BlackBerry patents in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), with mixed results, some of which each party has subsequently appealed to the Federal Circuit.
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