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Longhorn HD Sues Huawei, as Acer and ASUSTek Exit Computer Hardware Campaign
June 4, 2019
Networking, New Patent Litigation
Longhorn HD LLC has added a suit against Huawei (2:19-cv-00212) to the computer hardware campaign that it began in May 2018. The NPE asserts against Huawei all seven patents-in-campaign, targeting a host of products, including devices featuring rack-mountable “blade” servers and “industrial personal computers” with “blind mateable” connectors, which are self-aligning connectors where the “mating” action happens when the entire device is slid into place; hard disk drives (HDDs) that include microactuators; laptops with fall sensors, including the Huawei MateBook X Pro, MateBook 14, and MateBook 13; servers that include hot-swappable ATA HDDs; and servers that include SMART-enabled HDDs.
Texas Entity Connected to Longhorn IP Founder Snaps Up Networking Patent Portfolio
June 1, 2019
Networking, Patent Market, Patent Watch
On April 24, 2019, four networking patents originating with Ozmo, a company acquired by Atmel (itself bought by Microchip in 2016) in 2012, were assigned to Sonic Wave LLC, an entity under the management of one of the founders of Longhorn IP LLC. The last several months have seen the Texas monetization firm’s first litigation campaign, waged by affiliate Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC, revived in the Northern District of California by the Federal Circuit (see here) and a second litigation campaign, begun by affiliate Katana Silicon Technologies LLC, hit Samsung in the Western District of Texas (see here). The assignment of patents to Sonic Wave, together with other recent Longhorn IP activity, suggests that more litigation may be planned.
IP Edge Files First Litigation over Recently Acquired Digital Camera Patent
May 31, 2019
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
IP Edge LLC has now asserted in litigation a fourth of the roughly dozen patents that the Texas monetization firm received from Huawei in February of this year. Apparent IP Edge affiliate Theta Chip LLC has sued Canon (2:19-cv-00199), Fujifilm (1:19-cv-04966), Nikon (1:19-cv-04969), Olympus (1:19-cv-00995), and Sigma (1:19-cv-04971) in various districts across the country. The NPE asserts a single patent, generally related to digital cameras, calling out the Canon EOS M3, Fujifilm X-E1, Nikon Coolpix S800c, Olympus TG-3, and Sigma SD1 Merrill Digital SLR cameras as accused products. Theta Chip joins Bexley Solutions LLC (targeting routers), Devine Licensing LLC (targeting query optimization), and Saros Licensing LLC (targeting smart home appliances) in litigating patents transacted in that February 2019 set of assignments from Huawei.
IP Edge’s Wave Linx Reloads in Conferencing Campaign
May 31, 2019
Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation
The file-and-settle pattern by which Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC wages its litigation has quickly taken hold in the campaign launched in late February by apparent affiliate Wave Linx LLC. New suits filed last week against CarrierX and Free Conferencing (1:19-cv-00986), Evocate (1:19-cv-00987), and Mitel Networks (1:19-cv-00988) follow dismissals already ending prior suits against Avaya, DialPad, HighFive Technologies, LogMeIn, and Polycom, with stays halting the remaining earlier suits, filed against Blue Jeans Network, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (Arkadin), RingCentral, and both Zoom Video Communications and Zoom Voice Communications, all in the District of Delaware. The sole patent asserted in this campaign, received by IP Edge as part of a larger acquisition from Siemens, broadly concerns transmitting notifications from the telephone system to a browser using “networking protocols”.
Longhorn IP Opens Up Second Litigation Campaign over Semiconductor Fabrication Patents
May 31, 2019
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
Katana Silicon Technologies LLC, an affiliate of Longhorn IP LLC, has filed its first litigation, accusing Samsung (6:19-cv-00344) of infringing two of the nine patents that the NPE acquired from Sharp last summer. The patents generally relate to transistor fabrication, with infringement allegations focused on Samsung’s 2D planar technologies, “such as its 20nm planar technology”; its bulk FinFET technologies, “such as its 14nm, 11nm, 10nm, 8nm, and 7nm bulk FinFET technologies, which include but are not limited to the 14LPU, 11LPP 10LPE, 10LPP, 10LPU, 8LPP, and 7LPP nodes”; and certain processors and consumer products that contain either of them.
Endpoint IP’s Aido Audio Targets Wi-Fi Calling Functionality with Patent Received from IV
May 31, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Aido Audio LLC, an affiliate of Endpoint IP LLC, has begun that monetization firm’s sixth litigation campaign of 2019. The NPE has accused T-Mobile (4:19-cv-00384) of infringing a single patent, broadly pertaining to a computer that emulates a cellular phone and transmits a voice call through a Wi-Fi access point, through the provision of smartphones and tablets with Wi-Fi calling functionality, including the Revvl2. Aido Audio’s campaign joins litigation already underway by Aido Mobility LLC (begun in March 2019), Ryujin LLC (also in March), Remote Imaging Solutions, LLC (April), Tactus Technologies LLC (May), and Aido LLC (May as well).
STC.UNM Hits Samsung, Pursues Alternative Service on Earlier International Defendants
May 31, 2019
New Patent Litigation, Semiconductors
The Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, through its intellectual property enforcement arm STC.UNM, has added a second case to the litigation campaign that it began with a suit filed against TSMC in mid-April, accusing Samsung (6:19-cv-00329) of infringing the same homegrown semiconductor fabrication patent. At issue is the provision of semiconductor devices manufactured at “several different process nodes” (i.e., minimum physical feature size or line width), including 7 nm, 8 nm, 10 nm, 11 nm, 12 nm, and 14 nm process nodes, with the NPE highlighting in particular certain semiconductor devices allegedly incorporated into Apple’s A9 chip. The new suit comes as District Judge Alan D. Albright has granted STC.UNM’s motion for alternative service on TSMC in the prior case.
Federal Circuit Rules That Judge Alsup Wrongly Dismissed NPE Suits, Must Reconsider Joining AMD as Coplaintiff
May 31, 2019
Patent Litigation Feature, Semiconductors
The Federal Circuit has resurrected two semiconductor suits brought by Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC (Lone Star) against Nanya Technology and UMC but dismissed for lack of standing last January. While the Federal Circuit agreed with District Judge William Alsup that Lone Star could not file suit on its own—based on the fact that when it acquired the patents from AMD, that company had retained significant rights—the appeals court held that Judge Alsup erred by declining to consider the NPE’s request to join AMD as a necessary party. The Federal Circuit has remanded the cases for consideration of that issue.
Apple Seeks Judgment That Gilstrap Cannot Make FRAND Compliance Determination for PanOptis Global License Offer
May 31, 2019
Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature
Over the past year, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has dealt a series of setbacks to three subsidiaries of PanOptis Holdings, LLCOptis Cellular Technology LLC; Optis Wireless Technology, LLC; and PanOptis Patent Management, LLC (collectively, PanOptis)—in their litigation asserting certain standard essential patents (SEPs). Last August, Judge Gilstrap ruled that PanOptis could not seek a declaratory judgment that its global license offer to Huawei, involving patents from various jurisdictions, had been fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND), ruling that the NPE could only request such a judgment for its US patents. In March of this year, Judge Gilstrap also denied PanOptis’s request as to the US patents alone, holding that the record—reflecting license terms that did not give Huawei the option of a US-only license—lacked any evidence that would allow the court to rule on a US-only FRAND license. Apple has now made a similar set of arguments in a recently filed PanOptis lawsuit, asking that Judge Gilstrap dismiss the NPE’s claim seeking a declaratory judgment that global licensing offers made to Apple were FRAND for some of the same reasons cited by the court in March.
Federal Circuit Revives Two Former IBM Patents, Now Owned by Fortress, from Alice Invalidation
May 25, 2019
E-Commerce and Software, Media Content and Distribution, Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has breathed new life into a campaign begun by Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited in April 2016—before the Australian NPE began ramping up its litigation activity in 2017, before it acquired the large portfolio of patents from Pendrell Corporation in early 2018, and before it transferred control over its patent assets to Fortress Investment Group LLC in May 2018. Throughout 2016 and 2017, Uniloc accused a wide range of defendants of infringing up to four patents, sourced from IBM, through their software licensing and delivery systems. Multiple decisions in the Eastern District of Texas, however, invalidated all four patents under Alice, stopping the campaign in its tracks. Now, in a May 24, 2019 nonprecedential opinion, the Federal Circuit has reversed the district court as to two of those patents while affirming the invalidity of the other two. The case has been remanded back to Texas for further proceedings in the underlying cases, filed against ADP, Big Fish Games, BitDefender, and Kaspersky Lab, but the decision could revive litigation dropped as to other defendants as well.
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