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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.
Game On Between Infernal Technology and Activision Blizzard
June 4, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Terminal Reality Inc. and Infernal Technology, LLC, as patent owner and exclusive licensee, respectively, have filed suit against Activision Blizzard (3:18-cv-01397), asserting two patents generally related to lighting and shadowing in computer graphics. The plaintiffs accuse Activision Blizzard of infringement through the use and provision of certain 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 Blur, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Destiny, and Skylanders: SWAP Force, among others.
Progme Files Against Google, Even as Its Existing Cases Grind to a Halt in Favor of Multiple USPTO Proceedings
June 4, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Progme Corporation has filed a new suit against Alphabet (Google) (2:18-cv-11728), even as the cases—and the patent—in its existing campaign hit considerable snags. The patent generally relates to generating hyperlinks that permit a viewer to print or capture content related to video material. Progme accuses Google of infringement through the provision of software development kits and/or applications for its Android system that “generat[e] and/or encod[e] one or more print() or println() statements of the PrintWriter method” mentioned in code that the NPE includes in its complaint. Progme’s other cases, filed against Comcast (in November 2015) and Twenty-First Century Fox (in April 2018), appear in turmoil, as local counsel in the first has withdrawn because the plaintiff (and the attorney controlling it) have failed to follow advice given and as the defendants in the latter have moved for a stay in light of ex parte reexamination and reissue proceedings before the USPTO.
Full Federal Circuit Declines to Rehear Recent Alice-Related Decisions Berkheimer and Aatrix Software
June 3, 2018
Patent Litigation Feature
Last week, the Federal Circuit declined to rehear en banc the Berkheimer and Aatrix Software cases handed down this past February. The Berkheimer opinion held that citation to a patent’s specification may raise questions of fact as to the inventiveness of the patent’s claims such that summary judgment is premature, while Aatrix Software bars a Rule 12 Alice decision on subject matter eligibility when factual disputes remain over a patent’s inventiveness. Together, the two decisions have raised questions about the propriety of resolving patent-eligibility disputes before the issue is tried to a jury, potentially curbing the rise in early dismissals since the US Supreme Court’s Alice decision in June 2014.
Affinity Labs, Persistent in the Face of PTAB Headwinds, Files Second Suit Against BlackBerry
June 3, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, New Patent Litigation
Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC does not appear to be giving up its litigation against the two remaining active defendants in its content streaming campaign, BlackBerry and Netflix. In recent status reports filed with the Northern District of California, the parties noted the invalidation of myriad claims from asserted Affinity Labs patents as a result of multiple inter partes reviews; however, the NPE indicated that it intends to proceed as to the one claim left standing (because the PTAB did not institute trial as to that claim). In addition, Affinity Labs has filed a new complaint against BlackBerry (3:18-cv-03194), asserting three patents mentioned in its status report in the earlier BlackBerry case as forming the basis of a potential motion to amend that prior complaint. The accused products are certain smartphones built on the BlackBerry or Android operating systems.
IV’s Transfer of Former Samsung and Raytheon Patents to IPVal Recorded with the USPTO
June 1, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Market, Patent Watch
A transfer from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) to an affiliate of IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), involving patents originating with Samsung or Raytheon, was among the patent assignments recorded with the USPTO in late May. This latest recording closely follows the start of three new IPVal campaigns asserting IV divestitures.
IV Assets Continue to Spread Among NPEs, Including to One of Last Year’s Most Prolific Filers
May 28, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
A late May assignment suggests that courts may soon see litigation filed by a plaintiff with connections to 2S Ventures, LLC—an “intellectual property accelerator” with apparent ties to several litigating NPEs. Meanwhile, former Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) assets continue to spread among NPEs, with one assignee (a top filer in 2017) kicking off three new campaigns in April-May involving IV divestitures.
IPVal Affiliate Kicks Off Another Litigation Campaign Involving Former IV Assets, This One over the Use of Online Forms
May 26, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Flectere LLC, an affiliate of patent monetization firm IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), has kicked off a new campaign. Last week, the NPE sued retailers Academy (2:18-cv-00227), Office Depot (2:18-cv-00230), Sears (2:18-cv-00228), and Staples (2:18-cv-00229) over former Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) patents, of disparate origins, that it has acquired from IQ Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Atlanta-based monetization firm IP Investments Group LLC (d/b/a IPinvestments Group). The patents are generally related to the use of online forms to gather information, with the defendants accused of infringement through the operation of their ecommerce platforms.
VoIP-Pal Sues Apple with Newer Patents as the PTAB Considers Sanctions Under “Extraordinary Circumstances”
May 26, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Networking, Patent Litigation Feature
Publicly traded VoIP-Pal.com, Inc. has filed a second District of Nevada case against Apple (2:18-cv-00953), asserting four, more recent patents in the same family as those at issue in the NPE’s previous, February 2016 suit. The patents generally relate to routing messages between private and public networks based on stored caller profiles, with Apple once more accused of infringement through its devices’ iMessage and WiFi calling features. The new complaint follows by six months final written decisions in two inter partes reviews (IPRs) of the previously asserted patents, sustaining all of the claims challenged by Apple. In both of those proceedings, Apple has since asked the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to enter judgment against VoIP-Pal (or, alternatively, vacate those decisions and restart “a constitutionally correct process going forward”) in light of allegedly improper ex parte communications with the Board (also copied to various other government officials), Apple beginning its brief by noting that “[e]xtraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures”.
More Retailers Tagged in Growing Ecommerce Campaign
May 25, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
CXT Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of publicly traded Quest Patent Research Corporation (QPRC), has filed a second round of cases in the ecommerce campaign that it began last month. The new defendants are retailers Conn’s (2:18-cv-00231), Fossil Group (2:18-cv-00232), JCPenney (2:18-cv-00233), Stage Stores (2:18-cv-00234), and Tailored Brands (2:18-cv-00235). In each complaint, CXT asserts up to seven patents generally related to various aspects of ecommerce, including consumer recommendation engines and online message boards.
Seven Patents, Received from IV but Originating from Disparate Sources, Asserted in New Computer Hardware Campaign
May 24, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Longhorn HD LLC, a Texas entity created in mid-January, has launched a new litigation campaign, suing Acer (2:18-cv-00221), ASUS (2:18-cv-00222), Fujitsu (2:18-cv-00223), Giga-Byte Technology (2:18-cv-00224), Hitachi (2:18-cv-00225), and MiTAC (2:18-cv-00226). Seven patents, developed at disparate sources but all apparently received from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV), have been asserted across Longhorn HD’s complaints. Each of those pleadings targets servers and server enclosures with three of the patents: two generally related to connecting rack-mounted computers and the third to “hot-swappable” ATA hard disk drives. Acer, ASUS, and Fujitsu are further accused of infringing the other four patents, two of them through the provision of desktop computers that incorporate hard disk drives manufactured by either Hitachi or Western Digital and the other two through the manufacture and sale of certain laptop computers.
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