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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.
Vindolor’s POS Campaign Expands, Hitting Additional Retailers
September 1, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Vindolor, LLC has expanded its sole litigation campaign with new suits filed against Disney Stores (2:18-cv-00375), NTW, LLC (d/b/a National Tire and Battery) (2:18-cv-00374), and Restoration Hardware (2:18-cv-00373) in the Eastern District of Texas. The asserted patent generally relates to using biometric authentication to create an “access code” based on a resulting identification profile, with defendants throughout the campaign targeted over their use of NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals offering contactless payments. Vindolor alleges infringement through the accused terminals’ compatibility with various payment platforms, including “Microsoft Wallet, Wells Fargo Wallet, Masterpass, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and PayPal mobile” as used with a variety of Android, iOS, and/or Windows smartphones and related mobile apps.
Texas Jury Issues Infringement Verdict in PanOptis Case Against Huawei
August 31, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, Patent Litigation Feature
A Texas jury has issued a verdict of infringement for related NPEs Optis Cellular Technology LLC; Optis Wireless Technology, LLC; and PanOptis Patent Management, LLC (collectively, PanOptis) against Huawei, finding that various LTE-compatible mobile phones and tablets sold by the company infringe five patents related to the LTE standard (2:17-cv-00123). The verdict included a damages award of $10.6M and a finding of willfulness, with the jury also finding that none of the patents had been shown to be invalid.
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.
As Predicted, Dominion Harbor Launches Campaign Asserting Former WiLAN Patents
August 24, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Earlier this month, RPX pointed to newly released assignment records indicating that Dominion Harbor Enterprises, LLC would soon launch a campaign asserting patents acquired from Wi-LAN Inc. (WiLAN). On August 23, Dominion affiliate Cellular Transitions, LLC (CellTran) did just that, suing LG Electronics (3:18-cv-01955) in the Southern District of California over the provision of smartphones supporting LTE Advanced and Licensed Assisted Access (LAA). The asserted patents appear to have been developed by NextWave Wireless (acquired by AT&T in 2013).
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.
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