On June 4, a patent holding company named PatentMarks Communications LLC filed patent infringement lawsuits in the District of Delaware against a slew of electronics companies. The companies accused of infringement include at least Dell, Futurewei, HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola Mobility, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and ZTE. (The complaint against HTC [LINK here] is exemplary). PatentMarks — who is the assignee of six U.S. patents, according the USPTO — accuses these companies of infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,400,926, which is titled “Multi-Protocol Telecommunications Routing Optimization” — and which just issued as a patent on March 19, 2013. The ‘926 patent generally claims an optimized method and system for transferring files over a telecommunications network.
Incidentally, this is not the first litigation rodeo for this family of patents. The ‘926 patent is a 4th-generation continuation application that claims priority to U.S. Patent No. 6,016,307, a patent based on an application originally filed in 1996 that was assigned to Kapcom Industries, a failed telephony startup located in Miami. The ‘307 patent passed through various Florida entities over the ensuing 10-15 years before ending up in the hands of PatentMarks last month (with the assignment recorded the day before the suits were filed). ConnecTel LLC, one of these intermediate owners (whose sole employee appears to have been one of the named inventors), filed several infringement suits in the early-to-mid 2000s against a variety of entities, including Cisco and Arbinet.
Now it looks like the new owner is going back to the well, and is targeting standards-compliant products. While PatentMarks’ newly-filed complaints do not include very much detail, PatentMarks appears to now be asserting that infringing products include any devices that are capable of transferring files over telecommunications paths via wireless standards such as IEEE 802.11 WiFi and 2G/3G/4G cellular standards.
PatentMark is seeking damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, as well as a permanent injunction.