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Post-Berkheimer Battle Lines over Alice Take Shape, as Hyper Search Duels Facebook, Sues Foursquare and Snap
August 24, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Patent Litigation Feature
The sole litigation campaign of Hyper Search LLC, an affiliate of IPValuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal), remains in Alice limbo as a validity challenge brought by defendant Facebook continues to hang over the asserted patents. While briefing for Facebook’s Alice motion ended in January, both parties have repeatedly apprised the District of Delaware of subsequent authority—including the Federal Circuit’s Aatrix Software and Berkheimer decisions, as well as subsequent opinions citing them. Undeterred, Hyper Search has expanded the campaign, filing new Delaware lawsuits accusing Foursquare Labs (1:18-cv-01274) and Snap (1:18-cv-01273) of infringing the same patents through the operation of their respective websites. The patents-in-suit belong to the same family and generally relate to a system for home page creation, graphical search engines, and a system for controlling information output based on user feedback, respectively.
Magnetically Secured Headphones at Issue in Patent Licensing Company’s Suit Against LG Electronics
August 24, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Patent licensing company Kaddan Entertainment, Inc. has revived its sole litigation campaign with a new case against LG Electronics (LGE) (4:18-cv-00596). Kaddan accuses the company of infringing four patents through the provision of various LG Tone neckband headphones, each of which allows its earbuds to be secured magnetically to the device’s body. This is the plaintiff’s second lawsuit to date; its 2014 case against Monster (1:14-cv-05203), targeting magnetic earbuds that snap directly together, ended in an apparent settlement after less than a year of relatively uneventful litigation. Beyond that litigation, Kaddan has also licensed its magnetic earbud technology under the trademarked brand name “Quik Clik”, with licensed products currently sold by Harman subsidiary JBL.
Rothschild Plaintiff Keeps Bluetooth Campaign Alive with New Suit Against JVCKenwood
August 23, 2018
Automotive, Consumer Electronics and PCs, New Patent Litigation
Display Technologies, LLC, an NPE controlled by inventor Leigh M. Rothschild, has filed suit against JVCKenwood (2:18-cv-07244) over the provision of certain Bluetooth-enabled automotive audio receivers—namely, Kenwood DPX792BH and DPX702BH. This campaign has been active since June 2015, with earlier cases focused on the alleged infringement by Wi-Fi-enabled digital cameras and related image transfer apps, as well as by media transfer/streaming software, by the first member of a two-patent family. Since January 2017, the NPE’s complaints have turned to the second patent in the family, targeting NFC-capable products.
Facebook Wins Dismissal of $100M Mirror Worlds Technologies Suit as Plaintiff’s Parent Reports Disappointing Q2 Financial Results
August 17, 2018
Media Content and Distribution, Patent Litigation Feature
A New York judge has dismissed Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC’s (MWT’s) suit against Facebook. On August 11, District Judge John G. Koeltl granted summary judgment for the defendant, ruling that it had not infringed three document streaming patents through certain features of the Facebook platform, including the Timeline and News Feed features. The ruling comes as the plaintiff’s parent, publicly traded NPE Network-1 Technologies, Inc., reported a net loss and a drop in revenue for Q2 2018 as the result of an adverse ruling last year in the NPE’s Power over Ethernet campaign.
In “Long-Marooned” Case, Federal Circuit Holds That Voluntarily Dismissed Complaints Trigger IPR’s One-Year Time Bar
August 17, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has held that the voluntary dismissal of a district court complaint without prejudice does not prevent a lawsuit from triggering the statutory time bar for inter partes review (IPR). In an opinion issued on August 16 in Click-to-Call Technologies v. Ingenio, that central holding was reduced to a brief footnote that was decided 10-2 by the full Federal Circuit, while a three-judge panel ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) contrary interpretation of the statute governing the time bar (35 USC Section 315(b)) was erroneous.
Guyzar Dodges an Alice Attack, Leaves a $75K Damages Ask Hanging, and Files Yet More Cases
August 17, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
A couple of months after its last wave of suits ended, Guyzar LLC, an apparent affiliate of monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has filed another one. The NPE has sued AirBNB (1:18-cv-01256), America Movil (TracFone Wireless) (1:18-cv-01258), eBay (Stubhub) (1:18-cv-01257), and Nike (1:18-cv-05599) over the use of the OAuth protocol on their websites. The sole patent-in-suit generally relates to using a separate certification server to authenticate a first server without revealing confidential information about the user. While seeking a default judgment against a defendant in the last round, also targeted for its website operation, Guyzar—ordered to justify a $75K damages ask untethered to either a lost profits or reasonable royalty theory—voluntarily dismissed the case instead.
Huawei Added to Lemaire Campaign in Wake of Microsoft Settlement
August 16, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Huawei (2:18-cv-00353) is the latest defendant to be sued in the sole litigation campaign of inventor-backed Lemaire Illumination Technologies LLC over three patents generally related to controlling and powering a solid-state light source such as a light-emitting diode (LED). The new complaint follows a dismissal and settlement in a case brought against Microsoft last November. The NPE’s first case, filed against LG Electronics, was dismissed with prejudice just before that, while the only other active defendant in the campaign, HTC, answered Lemaire’s complaint in the Eastern District of Texas this past May. Since its inception in July 2016, Lemaire’s campaign has targeted color-adjusted camera flash systems within the defendants’ smartphones.
Quarterhill’s Q2 Highlights Include Multiple Patent Acquisitions Under Its “Partner Model”
August 15, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Publicly traded NPE Quarterhill Inc. released its Q2 earnings on August 9, reporting revenue of $20.4M, with over $73M cash on hand as of June 30, 2018. While licensing revenue fell to $3.97M (from $12M during the same period last year), the company inked at least one license with an operating company during the quarter, also picking up patents from MagnaChip and Panasonic. While Quarterhill did not file any new litigation in the US during Q2, its CEO told investors in an earnings call that his company’s “level of litigation activity remains constant”, with new and ongoing suits against Kingston, LG Electronics, Sharp, Sony, VIZIO, and others, “just to name a few”.
Corydoras Tags ASUSTek
August 14, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Corydoras Technologies, LLC has added a case against ASUSTek (2:18-cv-00351) to its litigation campaign, asserting a familiar set of seven patents, all broadly related to various aspects of a mobile communications device that displays a mirror image of an object taken from a camera facing the direction of the display. The new suit joins open cases against Sony, filed just last month, and ZTE, filed in April but subsequently stayed, pending resolution of a remand from the Federal Circuit in a separate case against ZTE that vacated denial of a motion to dismiss for improper venue in the Eastern District of Texas. Throughout its campaign, Corydoras has focused its infringement allegations on phones and tablets with a display-side camera.
Express Mobile Hits Nearly Two Dozen Defendants in California and Delaware
August 12, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Express Mobile, Inc. has filed a slew of new cases in its litigation campaign, which has been targeting web authoring tools since April 2015. The complaints have been filed in either the District of Delaware or the Northern District of California, alleging infringement by nearly two dozen companies over their use of Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and/or WordPress. A Markman hearing in a declaratory judgment action, filed by X.Commerce (d/b/a Magento) in the Northern District of California, was held in May 2018. The court sought post-hearing briefing on previously construed or agreed-upon terms, in response to which the parties submitted the constructions of the Eastern District of Texas in a February 2018 order from a case consolidated across multiple defendants there. District Judge Richard Seeborg has yet to issue a claim construction ruling.
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