Over the past couple weeks, a jury trial was held in Tyler, Texas on Ericsson’s November 2010 complaint that wireless equipment makers D-Link Corp., Belkin International, Netgear, Acer, Gateway, Dell, and Toshiba infringe several Ericsson patents related to the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard and 802.11-compliant equipment (case no. 6:10-cv-00473).  Yesterday, the jury returned its

In late April we shared with you the litigation activities of Innovative Wireless Solutions LLC, a non-practicing entity that filed 40+ lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas against a variety of hotels, hotel chains, and restaurants/coffee shops/delis.  IWS asserted that by providing wireless interest service to their customers, these defendants infringed three patents

Many district courts around the country have specialized local rules that govern patent litigation, in order to assist the court and the parties to manage the myriad issues that come up in the vast majority of complex patent cases.  Local patent rules often control the schedule and format for the parties’ infringement and invalidity contentions, claim construction proceedings, etc.  The Northern District of California, where France Telecom and Marvell are embroiled in a patent suit over Marvell’s alleged infringement of a digital coding patent, is one such district that uses local patent rules.  In a ruling handed down this past Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins found that it was proper for France Telecom to rely on two ETSI 3G cellular standards in formulating its infringement contentions.  This ruling shows that — with some caveats — it is permissible to use an industry standard as a basis for infringement contentions in districts with local patent rules.

[2013.05.013 (D.E. 79) Granting Motion to Compel in Part]Continue Reading Infringement contentions based on industry standards sufficient to comply with N.D. Cal. local patent rules (France Telecom v. Marvell)

Two weeks ago we noted a slew of infringement lawsuits brought by Wyncomm LLC, a non-practicing entity, against dozens of companies over a WiFi-related patent that was formerly owned by AT&T.  Today, yet another NPE accused multiple companies of infringing WiFi-related patents that used to belong to an telecommunications company.  This time, the NPE is an entity named Innovative Wireless Solutions LLC (“IWS”), and the patents it is asserting were originally owned by Northern Telecom (later Nortel Networks).  Unlike Wyncomm, who filed in Delaware, IWS filed its suits in the Eastern District of Texas.  And instead of targeting a number of hardware manufacturers like Apple and Asus, IWS filed suit against a variety of hotel chains large and small, including Marriott, Starwood, Wyndham and Grayson Hospitality.  (Hotel chains were also a popular target for Innovatio IP Ventures, another NPE asserting WiFi-related patents).  An example of one of the complaints filed today by IWS (against Marriott) may be viewed here.

[UPDATE] Since we first posted this, many more complaints filed by Innovative Wireless Solutions have come to light.  The defendants include not just hotels, but also other businesses such as coffee and sandwich shops (again, apparently taking a page right out of Innovatio’s playbook).  The full list of defendants, which is available after the jump, has been updated to reflect these other suits. [/UPDATE]Continue Reading Innovative Wireless Solutions LLC accuses hotels (and others) of infringing WiFi/Ethernet patents formerly owned by Nortel

For the last few months, Samsung and Ericsson have been engaged in a wide-ranging patent infringement skirmish, both in the Eastern District of Texas and in the U.S. International Trade Commission (Inv. Nos. 337-TA-862, 337-TA-866).  Many of the infringement assertions in these cases relate to the 4th-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communications standard, as well as other wireless communications standards promulgated by ETSI and IEEE.  Earlier this week, Samsung filed its Answer and Counterclaims in response to Ericsson’s complaint in case no. 6:12-cv-00894 in the Eastern District of Texas.

Pulling no punches, Samsung not only accuses Ericsson of breaching its FRAND obligations (an accusation it has previously made), but also asserts additional patents against Ericsson — including patents already being asserted in the ITC.  And notably, Samsung also paints Ericsson as a non-practicing entity that is trying to engage in patent hold up — Samsung states that Ericsson “now feels unhinged as a non-practicing entity in the mobile phone market to extort vastly unreasonable and discriminatory license fees,” and that it “seeks to ignore over a decade of licensing history between the companies and to travel down a new road as an NPE extracting irrational sums from Samsung under threat of an ITC exclusion order.”  Rhetoric aside, though, the meat of Samsung’s answer is really about its FRAND-related defenses and infringement counterclaims.

Continue Reading Samsung-Ericsson standard-essential patent battle heats up as Samsung asserts additional patents in E.D. Tex.

  • ShieldIn a press conference held today, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced an updated version of the SHIELD (Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes) Act.  The aim of this legislation is to decrease the amount of frivolous NPE patent litigation by increasing financial burdens on NPEs.  More on this legislation

e.d. tex caseIt’s well-known that concerns about patent assertions by non-practicing entities were part of the impetus for the America Invents Act of 2011.  In order to prevent multiple unrelated defendants from being added to the same infringement suit on the sole basis that they are accused of infringing the same patent, the AIA added the so-called “misjoinder” provision (35 U.S.C. § 299) to the patent laws.  Briefly, Section 299 provides that defendants are properly joined if (1) infringement is asserted against the defendants based on the same transaction or occurrence or as to the same accused product or process, and (2) questions of fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.  Over the past year and a half, courts have been grappling with evaluating whether otherwise unrelated defendants are properly joined in infringement actions.  In his recent ruling in an Eastern District of Texas case involving IEEE 802.3 Ethernet technology, Magistrate John D. Love held that standards-compliant system-on-a-chip (SoC) suppliers may be properly joined with their customers under Section 299.
Continue Reading E.D. Texas court ruling shows “system-on-a-chip”-based infringement accusations can satisfy AIA’s joinder rules (U.S. Ethernet v. Samsung)

On January 17, 2013, Magistrate Judge John D. Love issued an order in Network-1 Security Solutions, Inc. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., No 6:11-cv-492 (E.D. Tex.), granting the defendants’ motion to sever the case into several different actions.  Judge Love found that infringement allegations stemming from the defendants’ compliance with the same technology standard was insufficient to warrant joinder.  However, Judge Love found that in order to effectively manage the cases and preserve judicial resources, the cases would be consolidated for all pre-trial purposes except venue.

Continue Reading Compliance with same technology standard insufficient to warrant joinder of otherwise unrelated defendants (Network-1 Security Solutions v. Alcatel-Lucent)