Patent Filings Roundup: Brine Battles, Enforcing the ‘One-Petition Rule’ and Matchmaker Patent Suits

By Jonathan Stroud
April 15, 2020

https://depositphotos.com/69425507/stock-photo-a-law-book-with-a.htmlDistrict court patent filings are again high this week—73 new complaints filed (just a few shy of last week), but Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cases are down a bit, with 18 newly filed inter partes review (IPR) and three post-grant review (PGR) petitions. Thus far, there has been no visible change in patent assertions based on the current economic and health crises affecting other industries, though PTAB filings continue to decline.

Battle for brine: In an expansive PTAB battle over brine, a San Diego-based geothermal energy company, Energy Source Minerals LLC (of Energy Source), has filed a number of IPRs against unaffiliated All American Lithium LLC (previously known as Terralithium LLC), a Delaware entity of recent vintage. The predecessor-in-interest Alger Alternative, LLC (seemingly run by Clay Walker, Jr.) bought the bankruptcy assets of Simbol Material, Inc, including a portfolio of roughly 60 patents, many on lithium extraction—i.e., related to the extraction of lithium from geothermal brine, which, if successfully commercialized, could provide another source of the world’s lithium supply. The portfolio is as yet unlitigated.

Sunburned: For the last nine months, the PTAB has been rigorously imposing their strict new limit on the number of simultaneous petitions parties can file. That rule, announced in the July 2019 updates to the Trial Practice Guide, found no more than one petition would generally be appropriate, and required filers to rank their petitions in order of importance. In practice, they have been denying most second petitions and have denied all third ones, imposing a de facto “one petition” rule, with limited exceptions. Here, an Israeli-based solar panel company, SolarEdge Technologies Ltd., filed two petitions at the same time, IPR2020-00021 and -22, on an as-yet-unchallenged patent owned by German company SMA Solar Technology AG, in an apparent freedom-to-operate dispute; the Board found that while there were differences between the grounds presented, they were not enough to earn consideration of the merits of the second petition, IPR2020-00022. The technology at issue in patent 8,922,048 includes photovoltaic power systems that eliminate dedicated data communication lines by using power lines to communicate.

Illinois Matchmaker: A new single-patent campaign brought by Moline, Illinois-based Quad City Patent, LLC, has over the past few weeks resulted in three suits in the Central District of California thus far. The patent reads on matching users based on automatic offers and requests and has thus far been asserted against dating apps (Zoosk), escrow account services (EC Services), and trading apps (TD Ameritrade). Quad City appears to be controlled solely by inventor Lilly Mae Vega, an Illinois resident, with no other interests disclosed.

PTAB (21)

Case Number Action Owner Petitioner Patent
IPR2020-00783 Filed Philips North America LLC Fitbit, Inc. 7088233
IPR2020-00822 Filed Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited Upjohn US 1 LLC 9393205
IPR2020-00786 Filed Innovative Foundry Technologies LLC SMIC, Americas 7009226
IPR2020-00816 Filed Sound View Innovations, LLC [Monarch Investments, LLC, Patent Capital LLC] Walmart Inc.
Vudu, Inc.
7426715
IPR2020-00779 Filed Neodron Ltd. [Magnetar Capital] Apple Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
7903092
PGR2020-00054 Filed GM Global Technology Operations LLC LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
D864065
IPR2020-00824 Filed Vista Peak Ventures, LLC [Dominion Harbor] Japan Display Inc. 7499119
IPR2020-00818 Filed Sound View Innovations, LLC [Monarch Investments, LLC, Patent Capital LLC] Walmart Inc.
Vudu, Inc.
6725456
IPR2020-00821 Filed GM Global Technology Operations LLC LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
D813759
IPR2020-00784 Filed Optima Direct, LLC [2S Ventures, LLC] Unified Patents, LLC 8646060
IPR2020-00813 Filed The Regents of the University of California Satco Products, Inc. 9859464
IPR2020-00819 Filed SRK Technology LLC [Aawaaz, Inc.] Snap, Inc. 8996059
IPR2020-00820 Filed SRK Technology LLC [Aawaaz, Inc.] Snap, Inc. 9930159
IPR2020-00782 Filed Philips North America LLC Fitbit, Inc. 6976958
PGR2020-00055 Filed GM Global Technology Operations LLC LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
D855508
IPR2020-00814 Filed Sound View Innovations, LLC [Monarch Investments, LLC, Patent Capital LLC] Walmart Inc.
Vudu, Inc.
6502133
IPR2020-00707 Filed Seven Networks, LLC [Fortress IP] Apple Inc. 9712476
PGR2020-00056 Filed Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Apex Tool Group, LLC 10422617
IPR2020-00823 Filed GM Global Technology Operations LLC LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
D837105
IPR2020-00817 Filed Sound View Innovations, LLC [Monarch Investments, LLC, Patent Capital LLC] Walmart Inc.
Vudu, Inc.
6708213
IPR2020-00825 Filed CoolIT Systems, Inc. Asetek Danmark A/S 10274266
IPR2020-00007 Not Instituted – Merits Novoluto GmbH EIS Gmbh 9849061
IPR2019-01605 Not Instituted – Merits All American Lithium LLC
Terralithium LLC
Energy Source Minerals, LLC
Energysource Minerals, LLC
9057117
IPR2019-01604 Not Instituted – Merits All American Lithium LLC
Terralithium LLC
Energy Source Minerals, LLC
Energysource Minerals, LLC
8454816
IPR2020-00022 Not Instituted – Procedural SMA Solar Technology, AG. Solaredge Technologies Ltd. 8922048
IPR2020-00069 Instituted InVue Security Products Inc. Vanguard Products Group, Inc. d/b/a Vanguard Protex
Vanguard Products Group, Inc.
Vanguard Products Group, Inc. D/B/A Vanguard Protex Global
10043358
IPR2019-00973 Instituted Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP] Microsoft Corporation
Apple Inc.
Ericsson, Inc.
7075917
IPR2020-00224 Instituted Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP] Apple Inc. 7075917
IPR2020-00021 Instituted SMA Solar Technology, AG. Solaredge Technologies Ltd. 8922048
IPR2019-01640 Instituted Kamstrup A/S Axioma Metering UAB 8806957
IPR2020-00315 Instituted Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP] Ericsson, Inc. 7075917
IPR2019-01532 Adverse Judgment Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Auris Health, Inc. 6491701
IPR2019-01448 Adverse Judgment Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. Auris Health, Inc. 6246200
IPR2019-00035 Final Written Decision Medline Industries, Inc. C.R. Bard, Inc. 9745088
IPR2019-00030 Final Written Decision Corephotonics Ltd. [Samsung] Apple Inc. 9857568
IPR2018-01476 Final Written Decision Invt SPE LLC [Fortress IP] Apple Inc.
HTC Corporation
HTC America, Inc.
ZTE Corporation
Zetec, Inc.
7764711
IPR2015-01973 Final Written Decision Sipco, LLC [Glocom, Inc.] Emerson Electric Co. 8013732
IPR2018-01594 Final Written Decision Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
FG SRC LLC [DirectStream, LLC]
Microsoft Corporation 6434687
IPR2018-01605 Final Written Decision Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
FG SRC LLC [DirectStream, LLC]
Microsoft Corporation 7620800
IPR2019-00036 Final Written Decision Medline Industries, Inc. C.R. Bard, Inc. 9745088
IPR2019-00026 Final Written Decision Finjan, Inc. Juniper Networks, Inc. 6154844
IPR2018-01601 Final Written Decision Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
FG SRC LLC [DirectStream, LLC]
Microsoft Corporation 7225324
CBM2019-00001 Settlement NASDAQ, Inc. Investors Exchange LLC 8280797
CBM2018-00045 Settlement NASDAQ, Inc. Investors Exchange LLC 7647264
IPR2020-00118 Settlement Realzoom LLC Nike, Inc.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc
Staples, Inc.
7774712
IPR2020-00009 Settlement STC.Unm [University of New Mexico] Samsung
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
9142400
IPR2015-00780 Settlement Mark A. Barry Medtronic, Inc. 7670358
IPR2015-00783 Settlement Mark A. Barry
BARRY
Medtronic, Inc. 7776072

District Court (73)

Case Number Action Plaintiff Defendant Patent
4:20-cv-00289 Filed Communication Interface Technologies, LLC [Equitable IP] Yum! Brands, Inc. 6574239
8266296
8291010
3:20-cv-02369 Filed Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. Eyeris Entertainment 6700999
1:20-cv-00484 Filed Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. HIKMA PHARMACEUTICALS USA INC.
EUROHEALTH (USA), Inc.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals
7049328
1:20-cv-01462 Filed PureCircle Sdn Bhd
PureCircle USA, Inc.
Almendra Americas, LLC
Almendra (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
10398160
1:20-cv-01474 Filed ERMI LLC Jeffrey Smith 7547289
4:20-cv-01247 Filed OHVA, Inc. eProcessing Network, LLC 9679286
6:20-cv-00277 Filed NCS MULTISTAGE, INC. Nine Energy Service, Inc. 10465445
8:20-cv-00688 Filed Quad City Patent, LLC Does
TD Ameritrade Services Co., Inc.
7272575
8:20-cv-00696 Filed Universal Electronics Inc. Hisense Co. Ltd.
Qingdao Hisense Electric Co.,Ltd.
Hisense International (HK) Co., Ltd.
Hisense Electronics Manufacturing Company of America, Corp.
Hisense International Co.
et al.
7589642
8004389
9911325
7969514
10325486
10600317
8:20-cv-00699 Filed Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust] Edgecore Americas Networking Corp.
Edge-Core Networks Corp.
Edgecore USA Corp.
6763394
7103046
7107352
6553005
7719963
6870844
3:20-cv-03895 Filed Eisai
Eisai Co., Ltd.
SANDOZ
Sandoz International GmbH
RE46965
6:20-cv-00285 Filed Brian Blazer dba Carpenter Bee Solutions Home Depot RE46421
3:20-cv-02457 Filed Viavi Solutions Inc. Dimension Technology Co. Ltd. 7232262
6821025
1:20-cv-02970 Filed SynchView Technologies, LLC [IP Investments Group] FuboTV, Inc. 6788882
1:20-cv-00403 Filed Steven C Chudik Patent and Trademarks, “United States of America”
Hon. Andrei Iancu
9974658
1:20-cv-02862 Filed Sholem Weisner GOOGLE, LLC 10380202
6:20-cv-00272 Filed Voip-Pal.com, Inc. Amazon
Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com Services, LLC
10218606
4:20-cv-02354 Filed Oyster Optics, LLC Ciena Corporation, AT&T, Inc. 10554297
6665500
1:20-cv-02186 Filed Cooperative Entertainment, Inc.
Akamai Technologies, Inc.
6:20-cv-00275 Filed Voip-Pal.com, Inc. Apple 10218606
6:20-cv-00276 Filed Brian Blazer dba Carpenter Bee Solutions Lowe’s Companies, Inc. RE46421
3:20-cv-02371 Filed Fitbit, Inc. Koninklijke Philips
Philips North America LLC
8868377
7145462
1:20-cv-00486 Filed CareDx, Inc.
The Board Of Trustees Of The Leland Stanford Junior University
Tai Diagnostics, Inc. 10494669
4:20-cv-01244 Filed OHVA, Inc. Ace Merchant Processing, LLC 9679286
6:20-cv-00281 Filed PROVEN NETWORKS, LLC Arista Networks 8018852
8165024
2:20-cv-03324 Filed VDPP, LLC Hisense Co. Ltd. 9699444
9948922
8:20-cv-00702 Filed Alcatel-Lucent S.A.
Huizhou TCL Mobile Communication Co., Ltd.
Cellular Communications Equipment, LLC 7218923
3:20-cv-02397 Filed Twitter Voip-Pal.com, Inc. 10218606
3:20-cv-02442 Filed Quad City Patent, LLC EC Services Corporation 7272575
2:20-cv-03859 Filed NIPPON SHINYAKU CO., LTD.
Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Aizant Drug Research Solutions Private Limited
MSN LABORATORIES PVT., LTD.
Alembic
VGYAAN PHARMACEUTICALS LLC
MSN PHARMACEUTICALS, Inc.
et al.
7205302
8791122
9284280
1:20-cv-10707 Filed Airmar Technology Corp. WeatherFlow, Inc. 8714007
5:20-cv-00774 Filed Electronic Receipts Delivery Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Carter’s 8820635
5:20-cv-00775 Filed Electronic Receipts Delivery Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] The Children`s Place, Inc. 8820635
4:20-cv-01266 Filed Liberty Lift Solutions, LLC Priority Artificial Lift Services, LLC 10502037
3:20-cv-03859 Filed NIPPON SHINYAKU CO., LTD.
Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Aizant Drug Research Solutions Private Limited
MSN LABORATORIES PVT., LTD.
Alembic
VGYAAN PHARMACEUTICALS LLC
MSN PHARMACEUTICALS, Inc.
et al.
7205302
8791122
9284280
4:20-cv-10707 Filed Airmar Technology Corp. WeatherFlow, Inc. 8714007
2:20-cv-00184 Filed Intexact Technologies, Ltd. FrontPoint Security Solutions, LLC 7161483
5:20-cv-00728 Filed Delta T, LLC dba Big Ass Fans MacroAir Technologies, Inc. 9458859
8672649
8900041
8:20-cv-00686 Filed 2BCOM, LLC D-Link Systems, Inc. 6928166
6885643
7039445
7460477
4:20-cv-00286 Filed Communication Interface Technologies, LLC [Equitable IP Corporation] PepsiCo 6574239
8266296
8291010
1:20-cv-02193 Filed Ortiz & Associates Consulting, LLC Hisense Co. Ltd. 9147299
4:20-cv-00175 Filed Location Based Services, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Booking.com (USA), Inc. 9702713
1:20-cv-01476 Filed ERMI LLC Thomas H. Greene 7547289
8:20-cv-00697 Filed Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust] Zyxel Communications Corp. 6252848
6763394
7103046
7107352
6553005
7719963
1:20-cv-00393 Filed RJ Reynolds Vapor Company
RAI Strategic Holdings, Inc.
Altria Group, Inc.
Altria Client Services LLC
Philip Morris International Inc.
Philip Morris Products S.A.
Philip Morris USA, Inc.
10432542
8314591
9814268
9839238
9901123
9930915
5:20-cv-02460 Filed Apple Voip-Pal.com, Inc. 10218606
1:20-cv-02253 Filed Ellenby Technologies, Inc. Corporate Safe Specialists, LLC
Pfingsten Partners LLC
FireKing Commercial Services, LLC
FireKing Security Group
FIREKING SECURITY PRODUCTS, LLC
7516832
7779983
3:20-cv-00689 Filed Inventergy LBS, LLC [Inventergy Global] Samsara Networks, Inc. 9219978
8760286
10129695
1:20-cv-00476 Filed JSDQ Mesh Technologies, LLC Datto, Inc. 7286828
7916648
RE43675
RE44607
6:20-cv-00273 Filed Far North Patents, LLC NXP USA, Inc. DBA NXP Semiconductors USA, Inc.
NXP Semiconductors
8306053
6246702
6215797
8891504
6661804
4:20-cv-00288 Filed Communication Interface Technologies, LLC [Equitable IP Corporation] Texas Instruments 6574239
8266296
8291010
1:20-cv-00480 Filed Cirba IP, Inc
Cirba, Inc. dba Densify
Turbonomic, Inc. 8209687
6:20-cv-00607 Filed DeCurtis, LLC Carnival Corp. 10037642
10045184
10049516
10157514
10171978
10304271
10499228
6:20-cv-00608 Filed DeCurtis, LLC Carnival Corp.
5:20-cv-00147 Filed R421A, LLC T.T International Co., Ltd
FluoroFusion Specialty Chemicals, Inc.
BMP USA, Inc.
IGAS USA, Inc.
William Gresham
et al.
9982179
6:20-cv-00280 Filed NCS MULTISTAGE, INC. Innovex Downhole Solutions, Inc. 10465445
8:20-cv-00698 Filed Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust] Moxa Americas, Inc.
Moxa Inc.
7103046
6870844
8:20-cv-00701 Filed Universal Electronics Inc. Roku, Inc. 7969514
10325486
10600317
9641785
10593196
5:20-cv-00776 Filed Electronic Receipts Delivery Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] J.C. Penney Co., Inc. 8820635
5:20-cv-00777 Filed Electronic Receipts Delivery Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Menard, Inc. 8820635
3:20-cv-00257 Filed RJ Reynolds Vapor Company
RAI Strategic Holdings, Inc.
Altria Group, Inc.
Altria Client Services LLC
Philip Morris International Inc.
Philip Morris Products S.A.
Philip Morris USA, Inc.
8314591
9814268
9839238
9901123
9930915
10432542
1:20-cv-00396 Filed Intexact Technologies Limited FrontPoint Security 7161483
2:20-cv-03710 Filed Wangs Alliance Corp.dba WAC Lighting Co CAST LIGHTING, LLC 10571101
8:20-cv-00676 Filed 2BCOM, LLC KIA Motors America, Inc. 6831444
6928166
7127210
7184707
2:20-cv-00098 Filed Monument Peak Ventures, LLC [Dominion Harbor] Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Inc.
Hitachi, Ltd.
8665345
6241668
7233684
7418116
6396599
8643746
9013604
3:20-cv-02337 Filed Mesa Digital, LLC [Ortiz & Lopez PLLC] Acer America Corp. 9031537
4:20-cv-00287 Filed Communication Interface Technologies, LLC [Equitable IP Corporation] Rent-A-Center 6574239
8266296
8291010
2:20-cv-03795 Filed Organon USA, Inc.
Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V.
BIOPHORE PHARMA INC.
ZENARA PHARMA LTD.
Zenara Pharma Private Ltd.
Biophore India Pharmaceuticals Private, Ltd.
RE44733
1:20-cv-21496 Filed Location Based Services, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Deere & Co. 9702713
2:20-cv-03328 Filed Universal Electronics Inc. TCL Industries Holdings Co., Ltd.
TTE Technology, Inc.
TCL Electronics Holdings Ltd.
TCL MOKA, Int`l Ltd.
TCL Smart Device (Vietnam) Company, Ltd.
et al.
7589642
8004389
9911325
7969514
10325486
10600317
8:20-cv-00700 Filed Universal Electronics Inc. Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
Funai Corporation, Inc.
Funai (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
7589642
8004389
9911325
7969514
10325486
10600317
1:20-cv-00152 Filed Nalu Kai Incorporated dba Naish Sails Hawaii, a Delaware corporation Damien Girardin dba Reedin Kiteboarding 6988694

The Author

Jonathan Stroud

Jonathan Stroud is Chief IP Counsel at Unified Patents, LLC, where he manages a growing team of talented, diverse attorneys and oversees a docket of administrative challenges, appeals, licensing, and district court work in addition to IP, administrative, amicus, policy, marketing, and corporate matters.

Prior to Unified he was a patent litigator for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, and a former medical devices patent examiner at the USPTO. He earned his J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law; his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University; and his M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California. He enjoys teaching, writing, and speaking on patent and administrative law.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Josh Malone April 15, 2020 2:11 pm

    It is interesting to observe the gamesmanship around the multiple petitions “guidance”. The infringers are consistently filing 2 or 3 petitions. Then the PTAB appears reasonable by only granting one. The net institution rate per patent has gone up while the USPTO reports a slight decrease in insitution rate. Granting a first petition and denying a second counts as 50% institution according the phony USPTO stats. The inventor of course sees a 100% institution rate which is likely to destroy their business.

    Serial petitions and miscarriage of justice remain the status quo at the PTAB.

  2. Jonathan R Stroud April 17, 2020 8:50 am

    I’m simply noting the rules change. And the net institution rate per patent has not gone up over the last two years. It’s fair to note that all of the rules concerning discretion look only at the behavior of the Petitioner. I have been remarkably consistent in noting that discretion is unbounded, so the behavior and nature of the patent owner is and should be of equal weight. I don’t believe issuing de facto procedural rules that should require notice and comment rulemaking under the guise of limiting that broad discretion is either fair or compliant with APA requirements. As it stands, the APJs are legally free to ignore General Plastics, NHK Springs, or the updates—per the Federal Circuit. If such a rule makes sense and comports with Congress’ intent, it should undergo notice and comment rulemaking like all of the other binding rules. Unless there is some fear that exposing it to the necessary process will expose it as inconsistent with Congress’ intent.

  3. Pro Say April 17, 2020 12:41 pm

    ” . . . will expose it as inconsistent with Congress’ intent.”

    O/T, but golly gee wilikers — sounds like SCOTUS’ unconstitutional Mayo and Alice decisions to me.

    Congress: Where’s that return to patent protection for all innovations that you promised was forthcoming . . . last Summer?

Post a Comment

Respectfully add to the discussion.

Name *
Email *
Website