Patent Filings Roundup: Forum Selection Clause Ends an IPR; Vape Wars: Philip Morris Strikes Back; Fortress Subsidiary Gets an NHK Spring Bounce

By Jonathan Stroud
May 13, 2020

Patent filings - was another business-as-usual week for patent filings in the District Courts and before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with 54 suits and 29 petitions (two post grant reviews and 27 inter partes reviews, no covered business method reviews) filed. The Board already cited and relied on the new Apple v. Fintiv case (IPR2020-00019) in denying an IPR (filed three months after a complaint was filed) against a Fortress IP subsidiary’s patent; this week also saw a battle between e-cigarette (i.e., vaping) giants, saw another implantable medical device suit against Medtronic, and a surprising number of pet-related patent disputes, including iFetch, LLC and a suit between Pet Qwerks, Inc. and Benebone, LLC.

Contract is King: In a pair of IPRs on patents being litigated in district court, the Board terminated both in view of a forum selection clause in a patent license. Judge Andre Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California (in Los Angeles—how is that central, again?) granted a motion for summary judgment and directed the parties, Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. And Nomadix, Inc., to jointly file a motion to terminate the IPRs based on the forum selection clause. The Board promptly complied, in another example of the rising importance of forum selection clauses and careful agreement drafting. IPR2019-00253 and IPR2019-00211 had been instituted, litigated, and a hearing had been held on the patentability of U.S. Patent 8,626,922 and 7,953,857.

e-Smoking guns: The great vape wars of the twenty-first century are underway. Tobacco titans RJ Reynolds (who owns RAI Strategic Holdings, Reynolds Vapor Company, and markets the Vuse product) and Philip Morris have been battling in district court on patent infringement of their vaping device units (particularly the IQOS®) while relative (but rather cash-flush) upstart Juul has filed many dozens of complaints and some ITC actions against smaller competitors. Here it seems clear that RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris have been negotiating a cross-licensing deal for some time; just weeks after Winston-Salem (where my father was a reporter!) titan RJ Reynolds sued Philip Morris, PM struck back with three IPRs this week.

Fortress IP gets another NHK Spring bounce: Fortress IP semiconductor subsidiary VLSI Technology LLC has again benefited from the Board’s precedential decisions tying trial dates to denying petitions. Here, again, the cases filed in the Western District of Texas were not granted a stay (and Fortress argues that they rarely do so). The Board noted that “the Western District of Texas has not granted a stay and there is no evidence suggesting that a stay might be requested or granted if an inter partes review were initiated.”  And while the trial date is October 5, 2020, both parties agreed that with COVID there was some uncertainty as to whether the trial would proceed (as judges across districts have had to cancel a number of upcoming trials in light of the restrictions, including this district). Nonetheless, the Board found that it wasn’t clear the trial deadline would be delayed. The Board also cited the recent Fintev case, finding that while the petition here was filed promptly just hree months after the party was sued, significant time and resources had already been spent, given the aggressive Markman and trial schedule in the Western District. Intel had argued that the nature of Fortress’ business and their tactics often avoided inter partes review; the Board found this irrelevant. The IPR, IPR2020-00106, challenged one of the many patents asserted in District court, the 7,725,759 patent. Fortress IP’s Uniloc assertions have substantially benefited from the Board’s discretion in recent months, resulting in a number of non-merits denials of institution, in particular in districts with aggressive trial schedules.



                           PTAB (29)

Case Number Action Owner Petitioner Patent
IPR2020-00898 Filed United Technologies Corporation General Electric Company 8641366
IPR2020-00915 Filed Jodi A. Schwendimann Neenah, Inc. 7766475
IPR2020-00899 Filed JJG IP Holdings, LLP Machinex Industries, Inc. 9950346
IPR2020-00861 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10230898
IPR2020-00905 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10225479
IPR2020-00912 Filed Masimo Corporation Sotera Wireless, Inc. 10213108
PGR2020-00063 Filed Gree, Inc. Supercell OY 10406432
IPR2020-00903 Filed Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 9038129
IPR2020-00921 Filed Rai Strategic Holdings Inc. [RJ Reynolds Vapor Co.] Philip Morris Products, S.A. 9814268
IPR2020-00890 Filed Pfenex Inc. GlaxoSmithKline Biological S.A. 8530171
IPR2020-00897 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10324277
PGR2020-00062 Filed Streamlight, Inc. Parhelion, Inc. 10378702
IPR2020-00896 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10317647
IPR2020-00920 Filed Rai Strategic Holdings Inc [RJ Reynolds Vapor Co.] Philip Morris Products, S.A. 8314591
IPR2020-00838 Filed Barkan Wireless IP Holdings, LP CommScope Technologies LLC
CommScope Holding Company Inc.
IPR2020-00863 Filed iRobot Corporation SharkNinja Operating LLC
SharkNinja Management LLC
SharkNinja Sales Company
IPR2020-00879 Filed Longhorn HD LLC Unified Patents, LLC 7260846
IPR2020-00880 Filed Slyce Acquisition Inc. Syte-Visual Conception Ltd., 9152624
IPR2020-00907 Filed Koninklijke Philips Electonics N.V. Bissell Homecare, Inc. 9186032
IPR2020-00881 Filed Slyce Acquisition Inc. Syte-Visual Conception Ltd., 9152624
IPR2020-00916 Filed Carl-Zeiss Meditec Metall Zug AG
Haag-Streit AG
Haag-Streit USA Inc.
IPR2020-00919 Filed Rai Strategic Holdings Inc [RJ Reynolds Vapor Co.] Philip Morris Products, S.A. 9901123
IPR2020-00906 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10225479
IPR2020-00923 Filed Innovative Pressure Testing, LLC [IPT Global, LLC] Offshore Technical Compliance, LLC 9207143
IPR2020-00904 Filed Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 7936736
IPR2020-00862 Filed Corephotonics Ltd. Apple Inc. 10356332
IPR2020-00911 Filed Carl-Zeiss Meditec Metall Zug AG
Haag-Streit AG
Haag-Streit USA Inc.
IPR2020-00917 Filed Carl-Zeiss Meditec Metall Zug AG
Haag-Streit AG
Haag-Streit USA Inc.
IPR2020-00893 Filed Gree, Inc. Supercell OY 10279262
PGR2020-00005 Not Instituted – Merits GM Global Technology Operations LLC LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
IPR2020-00101 Not Instituted – Merits Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP] Microsoft Corporation 8495359
PGR2020-00006 Not Instituted – Merits CM2W JSC Seko S.P.A. 10201263
IPR2020-00105 Not Instituted – Merits InVue Security Products Inc. Mobile Tech, Inc. 9830787
IPR2020-00104 Not Instituted – Merits InVue Security Products Inc. Mobile Tech, Inc. 10055954
IPR2020-00151 Not Instituted – Merits Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Satco Products, Inc. 9978919
IPR2020-00185 Not Instituted – Merits Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc. Micro-Tech (Nanjing) Co., Ltd.
Micro-Tech Endoscopy USA Inc.
IPR2020-00124 Not Instituted – Procedural Syngenta Participations AG.
Sygenta Participation AG
Boragen, Inc. 10130096
IPR2020-00043 Not Instituted – Procedural Polaris Powerled Technologies, LLC [Microchip Powerled Technologies, LLC] VIZIO, Inc. 8223117
IPR2020-00106 Not Instituted – Procedural VLSI Technology LLC [Fortress IP] Intel Corporation 7725759
IPR2019-01607 Not Instituted – Procedural All American Lithium LLC
Terralithium LLC
Energy Source Minerals, LLC
Energysource Minerals, LLC
IPR2019-01606 Not Instituted – Procedural All American Lithium LLC
Terralithium LLC
Energy Source Minerals, LLC
Energysource Minerals, LLC
IPR2020-00116 Instituted Sucxess LLC Dataspeed Inc. 9871671
IPR2019-00201 Final Written Decision Vishay Dale Electronics, LLC Koa Corporation 7190252
IPR2019-00011 Final Written Decision General Electric Company Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Company
IPR2019-00277 Final Written Decision Zomm, LLC Apple Inc. 8351895
IPR2019-00109 Final Written Decision Medline Industries, Inc. C.R. Bard, Inc. 9795761
PGR2019-00003 Final Written Decision Antecip Bioventures II LLC Grünenthal GmbH 9867839
IPR2019-00275 Final Written Decision Zomm, LLC Apple Inc. 8351895
IPR2019-00107 Final Written Decision Iron Oak Technologies, LLC Microsoft Corporation 5966658
IPR2019-00246 Final Written Decision Neotech Products, Inc, Sandbox Medical, LLC 6958050
IPR2019-00253 Procedural Termination Nomadix, Inc. Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. 8626922
IPR2019-00211 Procedural Termination Nomadix, Inc. Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. 7953857
IPR2020-00610 Settlement Neptune Subsea IP Limited Nokia
Nokia of America Corporation

                      District Court (54)

Case Number Action Plaintiff Defendant Patent
8:20-cv-00850 Filed Benebone, LLC Pet Qwerks, Inc. D870400
6:20-cv-00361 Filed Flash-Control, LLC [Brian Yates] Micron Technology, Inc. 8531880
2:20-cv-02287 Filed Virtek Vision International ULC LAP Laser, LLC, 10052734
2:20-cv-00677 Filed Karma Power, LLC Henry Dean
HTP, Inc.
Phillip Jennings
Evan Johnson
2:20-cv-04134 Filed PeeKoo Bedding Concepts, LLC dba Simplified Bedding Primary Goods, LLC 9826848
1:20-cv-02753 Filed LKQ Corporation
Keystone Automotive Industries, Inc.
General Motors
GM Global Technology Operations, LLC
1:20-cv-03553 Filed Evriholder Products, Inc. Daniel Kang
3:20-cv-01133 Filed Wireless Communications Mobile LLC Fossil Group 9125079
1:20-cv-01281 Filed iFetch LLC Shenzhen Coolmate, Ltd. 9345946
8:20-cv-01072 Filed RK Solutions, LLC
Axcess Global Sciences, LLC
Compound Solutions, Inc
The Fulfillment Lab, Inc. 6613356
8:20-cv-00847 Filed Colibri Heart Valve, LLC Medtronic, Inc.
1:20-cv-02674 Filed Capacitant Innovations, LLC AKM Semiconductor, Inc. 8199254
2:20-cv-00138 Filed VARTA Microbattery GmbH Audio Partnership LLC
Audio Partnership PLC
2:20-cv-05565 Filed National Products Inc. Wooden Camera, Inc.
Vitec Group US Holdings, Inc.
Vitec Creative Solutions, Inc.
Vitec Imaging Distribution, Inc.
et al.
6:20-cv-00365 Filed InfoGation Corporation GOOGLE, LLC
5:20-cv-06069 Filed Provisur Technologies, Inc. Weber Maschinenbau GmbH Breidenbach
Weber, Inc.
Textor, Inc.
Textor Maschinenbau GmbH
Weber Maschinenbau GmbH Neubrandenburg
1:20-cv-00619 Filed Rotablade Systems, LLC Newegg, Inc. 8851843
1:20-cv-00211 Filed Nalu Kai, Inc. dba Naish Sails Hawaii CORE Kiteboarding GmbH 6988694
6:20-cv-06299 Filed rondevoo technologies, llc [2S Ventures, LLC] Qmetrics Technologies 7088854
3:20-cv-01157 Filed Pixmarx IP, LLC [Endpoint IP LLC] Snap, Inc. 9477689
2:20-cv-00143 Filed Estech Systems, Inc. IWG PLC
Regus Management Group, LLC
1:20-cv-00621 Filed B.E. Technology, LLC  [David Hoyle] Twitter 8549410
1:20-cv-00622 Filed B.E. Technology, LLC [David Hoyle] GOOGLE, LLC 8549410
1:20-cv-01318 Filed All Plastics, Inc. Daniel Russell-Einhorn
Samuel Whetsel
Sam Dan, LLC dba Smokus Focus dba
1:20-cv-00530 Filed Internet Media Interactive Corp. Microstrategy, Inc. 6049835
1:20-cv-02684 Filed Polyconcept North America, Inc. Quest USA Corp. dba QUEST BASICS USA D817316
1:20-cv-03478 Filed Masterobjects, Inc. 10394866
6:20-cv-00774 Filed Blue Water Innovations, LLC Vevazz, LLC 9044595
6:20-cv-00360 Filed Flash-Control, LLC [Brian Yates] Intel Corp. 9257184
6:20-cv-00366 Filed InfoGation Corporation GOOGLE, LLC 6292743
2:20-cv-00139 Filed Deep Web, LLC Kakao Corp. 7693956
1:20-cv-00611 Filed Monument Peak Ventures, LLC [Dominion Harbor, LLC] Bosch Security Systems, LLC
Robert Bosch GmbH
3:20-cv-05607 Filed Drug Information Retrieval System MyRXProfile 8155887
3:20-cv-01134 Filed Wireless Communications Mobile LLC Hapag-Lloyd (America), LLC 9125079
4:20-cv-00371 Filed CTAF Solutions, LLC Adventure Pilot, LLC dba iFly GPS
1:20-cv-03573 Filed RDPA, LLC Geopath, Inc. 6970131
6:20-cv-00368 Filed Haystack IP, LLC [IPValuation Partners, LLC] SK Hynix 6642554
1:20-cv-00623 Filed Perimeter Brand Packaging, LLC Reckitt Benckiser
Reckitt Benckiser plc
6:20-cv-06289 Filed Esos Rings, Inc. Tokenize Inc. 10412558
5:20-cv-03092 Filed Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless, Inc. 10218606
1:20-cv-10857 Filed Virtek Vision International ULC Assembly Guidance Systems, Inc. dba Aligned Vision 10052734
1:20-cv-00490 Filed Wireless Communications Mobile LLC J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. 9125079
5:20-cv-00988 Filed Skinify, LLC Jonathan Blake Buller D815211
4:20-cv-00374 Filed Haystack IP, LLC [IPValuation Partners, LLC] Micron Technology, Inc. 6642554
5:20-cv-03137 Filed Juniper Networks Swarm Technology, LLC 9146777
4:20-cv-00375 Filed Haystack IP, LLC [IPValuation Partners, LLC] Samsung Group 6642554
3:20-cv-01011 Filed Samuel Stamping Technologies, LLC Therma-Tru D557427
1:20-cv-00090 Filed Boehringer-Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GMBH & CO. KG
Mylan Laboratories, Ltd.
2:20-cv-00140 Filed Caravan Canopy Intl, Inc. Northern Tool & Equipment Co. RE40657
0:20-cv-60911 Filed Kona Ice, Inc. C&F Shaved Delights, LLC
Triple LLL, LLC
Wiregrass Snow, LLC
Dubbs Enterprises, LLC
Nicks Food Service
et al.
1:20-cv-00489 Filed Wireless Communication Mobile, LLC Guess 9125079
4:20-cv-01607 Filed Wireless Communications Mobile LLC CMA CGM (America), LLC 9125079
6:20-cv-00369 Filed PROVEN NETWORKS, LLC [RAK Investments III, LLC and Russ August & Kabat, LLC]


NetApp, Inc. 8018852
3:20-cv-03182 Filed Sanho Corp. ALOGIC USA, LLC D813875

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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 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 Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Josh Malone May 13, 2020 12:54 pm

    It is heartening to see the Article III, Senate-confirmed, independent judge take control of the case and bring the PTAB to heel. We need more judges like Birotte!