A slightly higher than average 38 petitions were filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week, all inter partes reviews (IPRs), a number again propped up by five more patent filings against the prolific Craig Etchegoyen-led WSOU. That entity’s near-200 patents and 200 lawsuits brought in the district court represent roughly 5% of all 2020 litigation, and they show no signs of slowing their aggressive stance. District court litigation was roughly stable, with a few new campaigns popping up as outlined below.
It’s worth noting—not because it’s evidence of any trend or even statistically significant, but just given the rarity—that for the first time since I started writing these updates more than a year ago, the USPTO did not issue any Fintiv trial date or other procedural denials.
In other news, there was yet another Jeffrey Gross-led campaign initiated, this one so far targeting solely foreign e-banking (or really cybersecurity) features, called Auth Token. It has asserted two patents on transactional tokens against French, Japanese, Chinese, and Philippines-based e-transactions companies. Couple that with Caselas, LLC, yet another Raymond Anthony Joao campaign of five business method patents targeting upwards of 25 regional U.S. banks, both filed entirely in the Western District of Texas, and you can see that the end of covered business method (CBM) proceedings and the dramatic shift in patent venues has led to a continued resurgence of cases against the financial industry.
Disney Displeasure Cruise: Last year, the niche technology company, Decurtis Corporation, through their IP asset holding company Decurtis, LLC, launched a declaratory judgment suit stemming from a licensing dispute with Carnival Cruise Lines (or at least, their corporate parent, Carnival Corporation). Filed appropriately in the Middle District of Florida, the case implicates Disney Magicbands.
The allegations cut deeper than a pure patent dispute and implicate strong words and wide-ranging (if unproven) allegations of unfair business practices. Here, Decurtis offers—essentially—Wi Fi and other SAS solutions related to “guest experience,” including wearable identifiers (think Disney Magicbands) for guests to interact with on-board activities. They do so for rival cruise lines Virgin Cruise Intermediate Limited, Inc. (“Virgin”) and Norwegian Cruise Line (“NCL”) via their DPX System, and indeed, had worked with Disney Cruise Lines as a supplier since 2008.
Decurtis alleged a little under a year ago that while they were working with Disney to implement some form of guest services at their parks in a particular restaurant, a Disney executive, John Padgett, spearheaded a project that resulted in Disney’s massively successful Magicbands project, and at the time, Carnival was a client of Decurtis; that they had already pitched Carnival on such a system; and that Padgett then moved to Carnival, rejected their concept, and launched his own OceanMedallion project (to be clear, Decurtis does not allege any liability or corporate wrongdoing by Disney or even Padgett while he was at Disney).
The really unique part of the Decurtis action, though, is that it alleges Carnival is and was abusing its market position via fraudulently obtaining and threatening patents on (effectively) the same on-ship technology solutions. They claim that they have had to indemnify one customer and have lost the other, based entirely on Carnival’s actions. Decurtis first sought declaratory judgment that those patents failed to name the right inventors and that Carnival “sham” threatened litigation. The action is for unenforcability, a Sherman Act monopolization claim, non-infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference with prospective business advantage, but does not raise invalidity. Now Decurtis has fired off three invalidity warning shots, filing three IPRs to date on three patents originally included in the non-infringement DJ.
Nokia and WSOU’s Paper of Record: It’s widely known that super-NPE WSOU Investments LLC, run by former Uniloc head Craig Etchegoyen, purchases thousands of Nokia patents and has been asserting hundreds of them for just over a year. As the twenty-first challenge to one of the hundreds of asserted patents shows, however, Etchegoyen may have some recordation problems on his hands—as at least some of the patents are still assigned to Nokia and no transfer or assignment has ever been recorded. This comes after evidence of other breaks in chain-of-title and questions were raised in some of the district court proceedings about the action of the transfer to WSOU Investments. This particular IPR, by Huawei Technologies, was one of five filed by various defendants this week and is likely not the last to be filed against the aggressive filer, by a longshot. The IPR is IPR2021-00692 and the patent is U.S. 7,406,074.
Design Patent Counterfeiting Suit Brought by Chinese Company Against Chinese Counterfeiters: The Northern District of Illinois is developing quite the reputation as a top place to file against online overseas counterfeiters, in part because of a local rule that waives Hague service for certain ephemeral virtual storefronts. As can be seen by regular public litigation filings, parties have taken to filing large “Schedule A” defendant lists and seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions against the widescale platform infringement, earning (presumably) settlements and default judgments along the way. The courts there and elsewhere in the United States seem to be taking pity on consumer goods sellers who otherwise have an intractable global counterfeiting problem. The practice, though, has also helped fuel the rise of design patent litigation of a similar caliber. While it’s generally been used by U.S. companies against schedules of foreign-based storefronts seeking to extract some form of freeze and payment from foreign counterfeiters unlikely to appear, one company based in the People’s Republic of China is seeking to turn that assumption on its head— Shen Zhen Pin Zheng Digital Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. has filed just such an action there on a single design patent, D866998, alleging widespread counterfeiting of the successful design of an inflatable baby mat that company sells. It will be interesting to watch and see if this betokens a broader push by foreign companies to use the forum the same way U.S. companies have been, and if the court takes the location of the filer into consideration in any meaningful way when granting relief, in law or otherwise.
|IPR2021-00782||Filed||Carnival Corporation||Decurtis, LLC||10045184|
|IPR2021-00754||Filed||Q3 Networking LLC [IP Edge]||Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Aruba Networks, LLC
Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
|IPR2021-00662||Filed||University of California||Satco Products, Inc.||10644213|
|IPR2021-00766||Filed||Bumble Trading Inc.||Humble Trading LLC||9763070|
|IPR2021-00765||Filed||Kinectus LLC||Bumble Trading Inc.||9294428|
|IPR2021-00672||Filed||Nabors Drilling Techs. USA, Inc.||Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co.;
Motive Drilling Tech., Co.
|IPR2021-00787||Filed||Sipco, LLC [Glocom, Inc.; IPCO, LLC]||Aruba Networks, LLC
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
|IPR2021-00762||Filed||Dali Wireless Inc.||Corning Optical Communications LLC||9826508|
|IPR2021-00764||Filed||Kinectus LLC||Bumble Trading Inc.||10516979|
|IPR2021-00692||Filed||Nokia of America Corporation
[likely WSOU Investments LLC, WSOU Holdings, and Craig Etchegoyen]
|Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.||7406074|
|IPR2021-00715||Filed||Flexiworld Technologies, Inc.||Roku, Inc.||10346114|
|IPR2021-00771||Filed||Guada Technologies Inc. [IP Edge]||Argos USA LLC
Dole Food Co., Inc.
The Gillette Company, LLC
PLY Gem Industries, Inc.
|IPR2021-00738||Filed||Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||6781226|
|IPR2021-00736||Filed||Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||7282951|
|IPR2021-00763||Filed||Kinectus LLC||Bumble Trading Inc.||10117074|
|IPR2021-00794||Filed||The Regents of the University of California||Satco Products, Inc.||10593854|
|IPR2021-00768||Filed||WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen]||Juniper Networks, Inc.||7483998|
|IPR2021-00691||Filed||WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen]||Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.||7460658|
|IPR2021-00783||Filed||Carnival Corporation||Decurtis, LLC||10157514|
|IPR2021-00793||Filed||Altria Client Services LLC [Altria Group]||R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company||10420374|
|IPR2021-00792||Filed||Ecofactor, Inc.||Ecobee, Inc.||8498753|
|IPR2021-00776||Filed||Monterey Research, LLC [IP Value, Vector Capital Corp., Fortress IP]||Advance Micro Devices, Inc||6534805|
|IPR2021-00774||Filed||Triller Inc.||ByteDance Ltd.
|IPR2021-00753||Filed||Q3 Networking LLC [IP Edge]||Hewlett Packard Enterprises Co.
Aruba Networks, LLC
Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
|IPR2021-00775||Filed||Colibre Heart Valve LLC||Edwards LifeSciences Corporation||9125739|
|IPR2021-00714||Filed||Flexiworld Technologies, Inc.||Roku, Inc.||8989064|
|IPR2021-00690||Filed||WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen]||Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.||7423962|
|IPR2021-00735||Filed||Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||7126214|
|IPR2021-00722||Filed||Siemens Games Renewable Energy A/S||General Electric Company
GE Renewables North America, LLC
|IPR2021-00769||Filed||WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen]||Juniper Networks, Inc.||8284656|
|IPR2021-00723||Filed||Siemens Games Renewable Energy A/S||General Electric Company
GE Renewables North America, LLC
|IPR2021-00777||Filed||Pilot, Inc.||The Noco Company, Inc.||10046653|
|IPR2021-00661||Filed||University of California||Satco Products, Inc.||10658557|
|IPR2021-00689||Filed||WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen]||Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.||7933211|
|IPR2021-00784||Filed||Carnival Corporation||Decurtis, LLC||10049516|
|IPR2021-00703||Filed||D3d Technologies Inc.
Tipping Point Medical Images LLC
|IPR2021-00640||Filed||3G Licensing S.A. [Fineur Int’l.]||Cradlepoint, Inc.
Honeywell International, Inc.
Sierra Wireless, Inc.
TCL Communication Technology Holdings, Ltd.
|IPR2021-00737||Filed||Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||RE42035|
|IPR2020-01422||Not Instituted – Merits||Nxp B.V.||Impinj, Inc.||7257092|
|IPR2021-00056||Not Instituted – Merits||Infernal Technology, LLC
Terminal Reality, Inc.
|Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.||7061488|
|IPR2021-00173||Not Instituted – Merits||AGC, Inc.
|Guardian Glass, LLC||8075983|
|IPR2021-00055||Not Instituted – Merits||Infernal Technology, LLC
Terminal Reality, Inc.
|Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.||6362822|
|IPR2020-01631||Not Instituted – Merits||VideoShare, LLC||Google LLC||10362341|
|IPR2020-01629||Not Instituted – Merits||NXP USA, Inc||Impinj, Inc.||7374097|
|IPR2020-01623||Not Instituted – Merits||Treefrog Developments, Inc.||Fellowes, Inc.||8342325|
Advanced Bionics AG
|Med-El Elektromedizinische Gerate Ges.m.b.H.||7267847|
|IPR2020-01488||Instituted||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l]||Wyze Labs, Inc.||7730534|
|IPR2020-01490||Instituted||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l]||Wyze Labs, Inc.||8610772|
|IPR2020-01486||Instituted||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l]||Wyze Labs, Inc.||8208019|
|IPR2020-01269||Instituted||Synkloud Technologies, LLC [IdeaHub]||Microsoft Corporation
|IPR2020-01021||Instituted||Arbor Global Strategies LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
|IPR2021-00044||Instituted||Advanced Bionics AG||Med-El Elektromedizinische Gerate Ges.m.b.H.||8155746|
|IPR2020-01489||Instituted||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l]||Wyze Labs, Inc.,||7936370|
|IPR2020-01528||Instituted||Onstream Media Corporation||Facebook, Inc.||10038930|
|IPR2020-01270||Instituted||Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub]||Microsoft Corporation
|IPR2020-01487||Instituted||Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l]||Wyze Labs, Inc.,||7954129|
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
|Analog Devices, Inc.||7224184|
|IPR2020-01525||Instituted||Onstream Media Corporation||Facebook, Inc.||9467728|
|IPR2020-01301||Instituted||Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub]||Adobe Inc.||9219780|
|IPR2021-00394||Instituted||Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP]||Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.||7282951|
|IPR2020-01527||Instituted||Onstream Media Corporation||Facebook, Inc.||10200648|
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
|Analog Devices, Inc.||7088767|
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
|Analog Devices, Inc.||8548071|
|IPR2021-00007||Adverse Judgment||Mambate USA Inc.||Cellpak, Inc||D846728|
|IPR2017-00319||Final Written Decision||Valencell, Inc.||Apple, Inc
|IPR2020-00023||Final Written Decision||Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank]||Microsoft Corporation||6467088|
|IPR2019-01667||Final Written Decision||Uniloc 2017 LLC LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank]||Apple, Inc.||7020252|
|PGR2020-00001||Final Written Decision||ANLI Spring Co., Ltd.
|Dong Guan Leafy Windoware Co. Ltd.,||10174547|
District Court (59)
|6:21-cv-00336||Filed||Lone Star Technological Innovations, LLC [TGT Enterprises, LLC]||AsusTek Computer, Inc.||7512269
|1:21-cv-00988||Filed||ConcealFab Corporation||Rosenberger Site Solutions||10724655|
|2:21-cv-01608||Filed||Coulter Ventures, LLC, dba Rogue Fitness||Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.||D879216
|6:21-cv-00337||Filed||SecurityProfiling, LLC||Cisco Systems, Inc.||9100431
|2:21-cv-03070||Filed||Celanese International Corporation
Celanese Sales US Ltd
Celanese (Malta) Company 2 Limited
|Anhui Jinhe Industrial Co., Ltd.
ProSweetz Ingredients Inc. d/b/a PanaSource Ingredients Inc.
Jinhe USA LLC
|8:21-cv-00658||Filed||Roku, Inc.||Universal Electronics Inc.
C.G. Development Ltd.
UEI Brasil Controles Remotos Ltda.
Universal Electronics BV
CG Mxico Remote Controls, S. de R.L. de C.V.
|6:21-cv-00343||Filed||Caselas, LLC [Raymond Anthony Joao]||Bancorp South Bank||9715691
|1:21-cv-01916||Filed||Shen Zhen Pin Zheng Digital Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.||The Partnerships and Unicorporated Associations Identified On Schedule “A”||D866998|
|1:21-cv-08158||Filed||Miller Industries Towing Equipment Inc.||NRC Industries||9440577|
|1:21-cv-02874||Filed||David Hirshberg||Pinterest, Inc.|
|3:21-cv-00227||Filed||Kraken Sports, Inc.||EASYDIVE DI FABIO BENVENUTI
|1:21-cv-00507||Filed||Icon Health and Fitness, Inc.||Peloton Interactive, Inc.||10864407|
|7:21-cv-03003||Filed||DatRec, LLC [Nacar IP]||HARRIS HEALTHCARE||8381309|
|2:21-cv-00215||Filed||Axcess Global Services
|New U Life Disc
New U Life Corp
|6:21-cv-00351||Filed||Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross]||Idemia Identity & Security France|
|6:21-cv-00354||Filed||Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross]||Yubico AB|
|1:21-cv-00281||Filed||DatRec, LLC [Nacar IP]||LITTLE GREEN SOFTWARE, INC.||8381309|
|6:21-cv-00324||Filed||Sockeye Licensing TX, LLC||Guangzhou Weijie Technology Co., Ltd.||9547981
|6:21-cv-00325||Filed||MCOM IP, LLC||NCR Corp.||8862508|
|1:21-cv-01840||Filed||Cine Graphic Solutions LLC [Strategic Intellectual Solutions, LLC, David White]||Motorola Mobility||7388587
EPI Health, LLC
|Perrigo UK FINCO LP||8815929
|6:21-cv-00330||Filed||SecurityProfiling, LLC||Trend Micro, Inc.||9100431
|2:21-cv-00126||Filed||Mobile Equity Corp.||Walmart, Inc.||8589236
|6:21-cv-00338||Filed||Digital Cache, LLC [Oso IP, LLC]||Western Digital||6956738
|2:21-cv-00128||Filed||Vocalife LLC||Bose Corp.||RE48371
|6:21-cv-00347||Filed||Maxell Holdings, Ltd.||Amperex Technology Limited||9166251
|6:21-cv-00349||Filed||DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH
DynaEnergetics US, Inc
|Horizontal Wireline Services, LLC
Allied Wireline Services, LLC
|1:21-cv-00512||Filed||Virtuozzo (Cyprus) Limited||Cloud Linux, Inc.
Cloud Linux Software, Inc.
Rhodes Technologies, Inc.
|Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc.||10407434|
|6:21-cv-00353||Filed||Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross]||UBIVELOX Inc.|
|3:21-cv-02428||Filed||Core Optical Technologies, LLC||Juniper Networks Inc||6782211|
|6:21-cv-00326||Filed||Smart Path Connections, LLC||Adtran, Inc.||7386010
|8:21-mc-00018||Filed||Warming Trends, LLC f/k/a Flaherty Holdings, LLC||Fireflie Patio & Hearth, LLC; Ray Stone|
|2:21-cv-08563||Filed||Social Positioning Input Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild]||Angelsense||9261365|
|3:21-cv-08717||Filed||Azurity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.||Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC.||10952998
|2:21-cv-00597||Filed||E Star LLC
Top Brand LLC
Sky Creations, LLC
Flying Star LLC
|Cozy Comfort Company LLC
|1:21-cv-21360||Filed||Positiontech, LLC [Endpoint IP]||Accesso, LLC||7061384|
|1:21-cv-21361||Filed||Positiontech, LLC [Endpoint IP]||Carnival Corp& Plc||6965317
|6:21-cv-00345||Filed||Caselas, LLC [Raymond Anthony Joao]||Security Service Federal Credit Union||9715691
|3:21-cv-02612||Filed||Tigo Energy Inc.||Zhejiang Yuneng Technology Co., Ltd.
Altenergy Power Systems Inc.
Altenergy Power Systems USA Inc.
|1:21-cv-00513||Filed||Virtuozzo International GmbH||Cloud Linux, Inc.
Cloud Linux Software, Inc.
|6:21-cv-00358||Filed||L2 Mobile Technologies LLC [Longhorn IP, LLC]||Google, LLC||8179913
|4:21-cv-02436||Filed||Skillz Platform Inc.||AviaGames Inc.||9479602
|5:21-cv-02438||Filed||Rothy`s, Inc.||Birdies, Inc.||D885016
|2:21-cv-01834||Filed||CuCu Inc.||Luxx Group Inc.
|6:21-cv-00328||Filed||Smart Path Connections, LLC||Juniper Networks||7386010
|2:21-cv-08461||Filed||Amperex Technology Limited||Maxell, Ltd.
Maxel Holdings, Inc.
|4:21-cv-00402||Filed||DDC Technology, LLC||DPI, Inc. aka Digital Products International, Inc.||9811184
|6:21-cv-00331||Filed||InterGlobe Technologies.; IGT Canada Solutions ULC||Zynga||8708791
|2:21-cv-00213||Filed||Geographic Location Innovations [Leigh Rothschild]||Bric`s USA||7917285|
|2:21-cv-02921||Filed||Bryan Alan Yonan||California Air Resources Board|
|5:21-cv-02554||Filed||Correlated Magnetics Research, LLC||Logitech, S.A.||8354909
|2:21-cv-08706||Filed||Koninklijke Philips||Ideavillage Products Corp.||D758661
|6:21-cv-00346||Filed||Red Rock Analytics||Apple
|6:21-cv-00138||Filed||Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust]||Fortinet, Inc.||7719963
|6:21-cv-00350||Filed||Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross]||Feitian Technologies Co., Ltd.|
|6:21-cv-00352||Filed||Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross]||JCB Co., Ltd.|
|6:21-cv-00357||Filed||Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust]||Buffalo, Inc.||7107352
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