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Traxcell Hits HMD and Repeat Defendants Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia in New Complaint
October 2, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
Inventor-controlled Traxcell Technologies, LLC has filed another round of litigation against Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia, targeting both companies in a single Texas complaint that also names codefendant HMD (2:18-cv-00412). The complaint alleges the infringement of three patents, two of which the NPE added to the campaign in an August complaint against Huawei (2:18-cv-00354), which was also sued in the campaign’s first wave of litigation in January 2017 along with Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia. At issue in Traxcell’s latest complaint are the defendants’ smartphones as used with cellular data networks (including those operated by AT&T,  Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, each which the NPE previously sued in October 2017) to show the devices’ location on a map using the Google Maps app.
Mobile Card Readers Targeted in New IPVal Campaign
October 2, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
MobilePay LLC, an affiliate of IPValuation Partners, LLC (IPVal), has kicked off a new litigation campaign, filing separate lawsuits against Bank of America (2:18-cv-00413) and Intuit (2:18-cv-00413) in the Eastern District of Texas and against Mindbody (6:18-cv-00286) and PayPal (6:18-cv-00287) in the Western District of Texas. The plaintiff targets the defendants’ provision of mobile card readers with a single patent generally related to coupling a credit card reader with a mobile device.
New NPE Sues Amazon over Text Synchronization on Mobile Devices
October 1, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
TrackTime, LLC has filed its first lawsuit, suing Amazon (Audible) (1:18-cv-01518) over two patents generally related to generating and displaying on a mobile device a “synchronization index” providing text for audio from a multimedia file. The NPE is apparently backed by the sole named inventor of the asserted patents. TrackTime accuses first Amazon alone, and in the alternative Amazon and Audible jointly, of infringement through the provision of “software and applications supporting X-Ray Lyrics and/or X-Ray Music functionality, including but not limited to its ‘Amazon Music’ software application” and through the provision of its Amazon Kindle software and applications “supporting features referred to by Amazon as ‘Whispersync for Voice,’ ‘Kindle Books with Audible Narration,’ and/or ‘Immersion Reading’”. The plaintiff pleads extensively in support of its allegation that Amazon and/or Audible have been aware of the patents-in-suit, as applications before and as patents after issuance in October 2014.
Inventors Launch Two Campaigns, One Targeting Power-Saving Mobile Device Displays and the Other, Selfie Sticks
October 1, 2018
Consumer Electronics and PCs, Mechanical Consumer Products, Mobile Communications and Devices, Networking, New Patent Litigation
Inventors Jinrong Yang and Ramzi Khalil Maalouf have assigned two families of patents to an entity that they created last year and, through that entity, Dareltech LLC, begun to assert those patents. The plaintiff has sued Samsung (4:18-cv-00702) over three patents generally related to managing the power consumption of displays on handheld computing devices, including cell phones, to extend battery life. Targeted are various Samsung smartphones and tablets. About a week earlier, Dareltech launched a campaign with separate lawsuits against DJI (1:18-cv-08873) and Xiaomi (1:18-cv-08729), alleging infringement of four patents generally related to a “handle for handheld terminal” by the defendants through the provision of selfie sticks.
IPVal Looks Poised to Assert Former Xerox Patents Received from IV
September 30, 2018
Patent Market, Patent Watch
Recently released USPTO records have revealed an assignment from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) to an affiliate of IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal) of a portfolio including patents developed by Palo Alto Research Corporation (PARC, a subsidiary of Xerox). IV has assigned more than 90 US assets to IPVal to date, subsets of which are being litigated by various IPVal affiliates in multiple campaigns.
Federal Circuit Reverses District Court Order Holding Plaintiff Counsel Jointly and Severally Liable for Fees Imposed on NPE
September 30, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, Patent Litigation Feature
The Federal Circuit has reversed a district court order holding an NPE’s counsel jointly and severally liable for an “exceptional case” sanction against its client (2017-2414). District Judge Denise Cote granted a 35 USC Section 285 motion brought by Gust against AlphaCap Ventures LLC, awarding $492K in attorney fees (and $15K in costs) for asserting patents that the plaintiff should have known, after Alice, were patent-ineligibly drawn to the abstract idea of “crowdfunding”. The court identified an “unsavory” motivation (“to extract a nuisance settlement from Gust on the theory that Gust would rather pay an unjustified albeit minimal license fee than bear the costs of the threatened expensive litigation in a distant venue”) for AlphaCap’s behavior, which included abusive litigation tactics that the fee award is meant to deter. Judge Cote held San Francisco-based Gutride Safier LLP jointly and severally liable with AlphaCap under 35 USC Section 1926, but the Federal Circuit reversed, ruling that the district court abused its discretion by ascribing “bad faith” to litigation counsel for client decisions.
New NPE Sues Smartphone Makers Over Former IV Patents
September 29, 2018
Mobile Communications and Devices, New Patent Litigation
American Patents LLC, a new NPE with ties to multiple other litigating Texas entities, has launched its first campaign, suing Huawei (4:18-cv-00672), LG Electronics (LGE) (4:18-cv-00673), Samsung (4:18-cv-00674), and ZTE (4:18-cv-00675) over a group of patents acquired from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV). The patents-in-suit, which generally relate to communications networks, are a subset of more than 30 US assets transferred by IV to American Patents in June. All four defendants are accused of infringement through the provision of smartphones offering Google’s Chromecast streaming, with Huawei and ZTE also targeted over keyboards with predictive text features and other features related to keyboard layout; LGE, over camera gesture controls; and Samsung, over biometric and gesture authentication features.
$506M Judgment Against Apple in WARF Lawsuit Is Reversed on Appeal
September 28, 2018
Patent Litigation Feature, Semiconductors
The Federal Circuit has overturned an infringement verdict against Apple in litigation brought by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the non-profit, patent management arm of the University of Wisconsin. In that case, a Wisconsin jury found in October 2015 that Apple had infringed a single WARF semiconductor patent through its A7 and A8 processors, with the court issuing a $506M final judgment following the trial (3:14-cv-00062). However, the Federal Circuit ruled in a September 28 opinion that the infringement verdict is not properly supported by the evidence based on the plain and ordinary meaning of a key claim limitation (2017-2265, 2017-2380).
Finnish Plaintiff Opens Up Second Network Security Campaign with New Suit Against Apple
September 27, 2018
Networking, New Patent Litigation
MPH Technologies Oy, a Finnish entity, has filed its first lawsuit, accusing Apple (5:18-cv-05935) of infringing eight network security patents through the provision of a wide range of connected devices. More specifically, the Northern District of California complaint targets Apple’s provision of the end-to-end encryption used by iMessage and Facetime as incorporated into various products, including iPhones, iPads, iPods, Apple Watches, and Macs. MPH Technologies also targets Apple products’ VPN features (as offered by various “iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Mac computers”) due to the alleged inclusion of Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2) Mobility and Multihoming Protocol (MOBIKE) technology, respectively (and allegedly) used to authenticate VPN connections and allow VPN users “to move from one address to another without re-establishing all security associations with the VPN gateway”. Apple is further accused of infringement through its Always-On VPN technology, as provided for various “iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, running iOS 8, iOS 9, iOS 10, and iOS 11”. This campaign is the second for MPH Technologies; in February 2010, the NPE asserted a ninth patent, not here at issue, in a single lawsuit against Check Point Software, NETGEAR, and ZyXEL.
IP Edge Affiliate Launches Customized Interface Campaign
September 27, 2018
E-Commerce and Software, New Patent Litigation
Guild Forest LLC, an apparent affiliate of Texas monetization firm IP Edge LLC, has initiated a new litigation campaign, suing IFWE (1:18-cv-01483), Pinterest (1:18-cv-01480), Snap (1:18-cv-01481), Spotify (1:18-cv-01482), and Time (MySpace) (1:18-cv-01479) in the District of Delaware. The sole patent-in-suit generally relates to compiling and consulting user profiles to customize “an interface”, with infringement allegations focused on the use of user data for targeted advertising and analytics on the defendants’ social media platforms.
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