Patent Filings Roundup: EZ Pass Suit; Broken Smartphone Suppliers; Music Plugin Competitor Suits

By Jonathan Stroud
November 19, 2020

patent filings roundup - Depositphotos_84015320_xl-2015 copyIt was a light week for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings, with just 18 new petitions, while the district courts remained busy with 71 new complaints. Some patent filings were new additions to existing assertion campaigns like Virtual Immersion [Equitable], Cedar Lane Technologies Inc., or Browse3D; at least six new filings by Viking Technologies, LLC seem to spring from a supplier relationship with smartphone repair services, detailed below.

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect Millions of Dollars: In an at-least-seven patent suit filed in the Western District of Texas, Amtech Systems LLC, a subsidiary of Windstream Holdings, LLC and TransCore, sued a major competitor in the “EZ-Pass” market of RFID vehicle automated toll road transponders. Amtech claims that for 80 years it has been a leader in the RFID field of fleet vehicle tracking, with an emphasis on toll road applications (similar to the EZ Pass here in the DC metro area). They have sued direct competitor Kapsch for patent infringement of at least U.S. Patents 8,427,279, 9,262,656, 10,083,329, 7,518,532, 7,772,977, 8,237,565, and 7,548,153. No word yet on whether damages will be paid in two-dollar increments.

Broken Smartphone Screens Spark Litigation: Perhaps not surprisingly, replacing cracked or broken smartphone screens is big business worldwide, representing more than 30 million broken display assemblies replaced, and resulting in a $3.4 billion annual market. According to some recently filed complaints, that market exploded in cost and complexity after 2011, when most handset manufacturers switched to improved but expensive active-matrix light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays. It remained possible but much more difficult to remove the cracked glass portion of such displays without having to replace the entire displays, which was cost-prohibitive for most consumers.

Per complaints, an early operator of device-repair services, Assurant, Inc. approached businessmen Kevin Barnett and Teo Chong Teck, who together formed Viking Technologies Company Limited (Hong Kong) and developed a detailed method of removing and replacing the glass portion of a cracked screen without having to replace the display. Together at a factory based in China, they processed more than 10,000 damaged screens a month; in 2013, Assurant moved on from the business relationship, and after another year, so did other vendors. Now, Viking Technologies, LLC has brought suit against a number of large-scale smartphone repair services, including XPO Logistics, Inc., SquareTrade Inc., Assurant, Inc., Encore Repair Services, LLC, FedEx Supply Chain, Inc., and Teleplan Service Solutions Inc., asserting U.S. Patents 8,888,953 and 10,220,537. The technology ostensibly involves using a precision wire to effectively slice or separate the glass shards from the underlying display without damaging it.

Music to Their Ears: In a curious new competitor-competitor complaint, 14-year-old music software company Mixed-in-Key LLC sued French company Hexachords SAS over their CaptainTM Plugins, audio programs that communicate to produce musical compositions. (More accurately, they sued them over U.S. Patent 10,714,065, which they allege reads on those plugins. Mixed-in-Key alleges that Hexacords runs a website that includes their Orb Producer Suite, which according to third-party public sources bears a striking similarity to the CaptainTM Plugins, going so far as to call them a “knock off.”  The companies exchanged demand letters and had licensing discussions earlier this year; those talks broke down, with Mixed-in-Key alleging that Hexachords never provided a substantive response.

PTAB (18)

Case Number Action Owner Petitioner Patent
IPR2021-00182 Filed Nanoco Technologies, Ltd. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
9680068
IPR2021-00057 Filed Avago Technologies International Sales Pte. Limited Netflix, Inc. 8548976
IPR2021-00177 Filed Bell Semiconductor, LLC [Hilco Inc. d/b/a Hilco Global] Microchip Technology, Inc.
Microsemi Corporation
6743669
IPR2021-00175 Filed Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub, Inc.] Microsoft Corporation
HP, Inc.
7870225
IPR2021-00180 Filed Bell Semiconductor, LLC [Hilco Inc. d/b/a Hilco Global] Advanced Semicondutor Engineering, Inc., 6624007
IPR2021-00202 Filed Kimberly-Clark Global Sales, LLC [Kimberly-Clark Corp.] Extrusion Group, LLC
Extrusion Group Services, LLC
EG Global LLC
EG Ventures, LLC
6972104
IPR2021-00048 Filed Sable Networks, Inc. [Sable IP, LLC] Cisco Systems, Inc.
Dell Technologies Inc.
7428209
IPR2021-00174 Filed Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub, Inc.] Microsoft Corporation
HP, Inc.
7870225
IPR2021-00183 Filed Nanoco Technologies, Ltd. [Nanoco Grp. PLC] Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
7588828
IPR2021-00185 Filed Nanoco Technologies, Ltd. [Nanoco Grp. PLC] Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
7867557
IPR2021-00197 Filed BCS Software, LLC [d/b/a Bluebonnet Consulting Services and Software] Facebook, Inc. 7890809
IPR2021-00190 Filed Ultravision Technologies, LLC [Ultravision Int’l] Shenzhen AOTO Electronics Co., Ltd. 9047791
IPR2021-00198 Filed James L. Driessen Best Buy Co., Inc
Target Corporation
Walmart, Inc.,
10304052
IPR2021-00181 Filed Omega Patents, LLC BMW of North America, LLC 9458814
IPR2021-00184 Filed Nanoco Technologies, Ltd. [Nanoco Grp. PLC] Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
7803423
IPR2021-00192 Filed Kirsch Research and Development, LLC GAF Materials LLC [G Holdings, Inc.] 6308482
IPR2021-00168 Filed Bell Semiconductor, LLC [Hilco Inc. d/b/a Hilco Global] Microchip Technology, Inc.
Microsemi Corporation
6624007
IPR2021-00186 Filed Nanoco Technologies, Ltd. [Nanoco Grp. PLC] Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
8524365
IPR2020-00953 Not Instituted – Procedural Universal Electronics, Inc. Roku, Inc. 9911325
IPR2020-00951 Not Instituted – Procedural Universal Electronics, Inc. Roku, Inc. 9911325
PGR2020-00063 Not Instituted – Procedural Gree, Inc. Supercell OY 10406432
IPR2020-01012 Not Instituted – Procedural Universal Electronics, Inc. Roku, Inc. 7589642
IPR2020-00952 Not Instituted – Procedural Universal Electronics, Inc. Roku, Inc. 9716853
IPR2020-00905 Instituted Corephotonics Ltd. [Samsung] Apple Inc. 10225479
IPR2020-00903 Instituted Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 9038129
IPR2020-00931 Instituted Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 8090359
IPR2020-00932 Instituted Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 8090359
IPR2020-00879 Instituted Longhorn HD LLC [Alpha Alpha Intellectual Partners, LLC] Unified Patents, LLC
Unified Patents, Inc.
7260846
IPR2020-00933 Instituted Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 8374592
IPR2020-00944 Instituted The Noco Company Shenzhen Carku Technology Co., Ltd. 9007015
IPR2020-00904 Instituted Proxicom Wireless, LLC Target Corporation 7936736
IPR2020-00906 Instituted Corephotonics Ltd. [Samsung] Apple Inc. 10225479
IPR2019-01036 Final Written Decision Realtime Adaptive Streaming, LLC [Realtime Data LLC, Brickell Key, Juridica] Google LLC 9578298
IPR2019-00942 Final Written Decision Blackberry Limited Facebook, Inc.
Instagram, LLC
WhatsApp, Inc.
8677250
IPR2020-00315 Final Written Decision Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank] Ericsson, Inc. 7075917
IPR2020-00224 Final Written Decision Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank] Apple Inc. 7075917
IPR2019-00973 Final Written Decision Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank] Microsoft Corporation
Apple Inc.
Ericsson, Inc.
7075917
IPR2019-01080 Final Written Decision Mimzi, LLC TripAdvisor, LLC 9128981
IPR2019-01033 Final Written Decision Realtime Adaptive Streaming, LLC [Realtime Data LLC, Brickell Key, Juridica] Google LLC
YouTube, LLC
7386046
PGR2018-00092 Final Written Decision Antecip Bioventures II LLC Grünenthal GmbH 9820999
IPR2017-00099 Final Written Decision Infobridge PTE Ltd Samsung 8917772
IPR2019-01040 Final Written Decision Broadcom, Inc. Renesas Electronics Corporation 8284844
IPR2017-00100 Final Written Decision Infobridge PTE Ltd Samsung 8917772

District Court (71)

Case Number Action Plaintiff Defendant Patent
2:20-cv-10267 Filed Better Mouse Company, LLC Kingston Technology Co., Inc. 7532200
6:20-cv-01033 Filed SunStone Information Defense, Inc. International Business Machines, Corp. 9122870
4:20-cv-00872 Filed Voidform Products, Inc. TV Development LLC
MetroPro Construction Group, Inc.
10267012
1:20-cv-06676 Filed Oakley, Inc. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule “A” D719209
D725695
D725696
1:20-cv-01508 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC XPO Logistics, Inc. 10220537
8888953
1:20-cv-01509 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC SquareTrade Inc. 10220537
8888953
2:20-cv-10327 Filed St. Tropica, Inc. John Doe
Lakes Venture, LLC dba Fresh Thyme Market
Giovanni Cosmetics, Inc.
Wakefern Food Corp. dba ShopRite
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET, INC.
et al.
10301099
3:20-cv-01693 Filed Lander Enterprises, LLC Isonic, Inc. D887146
0:20-cv-62292 Filed Centre De Recherche Medico Dentaire AM Inc. Digital Smile Design Consultoria Odontologica LTDA
DSD Planning Center S.L.
Digital Smile Design S.L.
9411910
0:20-cv-62303 Filed Eko Brands, LLC AFN Distribution dba Fill N Save
Mark Levert
10154751
8561524
8707855
1:20-cv-24645 Filed Signify Holding BV
Signify North America Corporation
Robe Lighting S.R.O.
Robe Lighting Inc
7557521
7806558
8414138
6478453
6636003
7802902
6:20-cv-01044 Filed Amtech Systems LLC [Windstream Holdings, LLC] Kapsch TrafficCom Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom Services USA, Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom Canada, Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom AG
Kapsch TrafficCom Holding Corp.
et al.
8427279
9262656
10083329
7518532
7772977
8237565
7548153
6:20-cv-01046 Filed Aprese Systems Texas, LLC Toyota
Jeff Hunter Motors, Inc.
8887155
9207924
2:20-cv-00362 Filed Lennon Image Technologies LLC [Empire IP] Target 6624843
5:20-cv-08009 Filed Sony Corp. Rovi Technologies corp
Rovi Guides, Inc.
TiVo Solutions, Inc.
1:20-cv-01530 Filed Pfizer
PF PRISM IMB BV
Warner-Lambert Co
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories 10723730
1:20-cv-02952 Filed Wonderland Switzerland AG Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. 8087725
8141951
8490757
6:20-cv-01050 Filed Virtual Immersion Technologies [Equitable IP] Balfour Beatty Plc
Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC
6409599
2:20-cv-00357 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC Assurant, Inc. 8888953
10220537
1:20-cv-01510 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC Encore Repair Holdings, LLC
Encore Repair Services, LLC
10220537
8888953
8:20-cv-02176 Filed Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. Webfurther, LLC 7802902
7557521
7806558
8414138
6478453
6636003
1:20-cv-06718 Filed Deckers Outdoor Corp. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule “A” D599999
D616189
8:20-cv-02652 Filed EZSTAX Llc Aldi, Inc. 10040612
D824705
0:20-cv-62302 Filed Signify Holding BV
Signify North America Corporation
Robe Lighting S.R.O.
Robe Lighting Inc
7557521
7806558
8414138
6478453
6636003
7802902
1:20-cv-24653 Filed Mixed In Key LLC Hexachords SAS
Hexachords Entertainment S.L.
710714065
1:20-cv-01122 Filed Amtech Systems LLC [Windstream Holdings, LLC] Kapsch TrafficCom Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom Services USA, Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom Canada, Inc.
Kapsch TrafficCom AG
Kapsch TrafficCom Holding Corp.
et al.
8427279
9262656
10083329
7518532
7772977
8237565
7548153
1:20-cv-16117 Filed Pfizer
PF PRISM IMB BV
Warner Lambert Company LLC
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories 10723730
1:20-cv-01025 Filed PureShield, Inc.
ViaClean Technologies, LLC
NOVALENT, LTD.
INHOLD, LLC
5954869
6113815
6120587
6762172
6:20-cv-01048 Filed Virtual Immersion Technologies [Equitable IP[ Robert Bosch GmbH 6409599
2:20-cv-00358 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC uBreakiFix Co.
Asurion, LLC
8888953
10220537
2:20-cv-01766 Filed PF Consumer Healthcare 1, LLC
Bausch & Lomb
LUNOVUS, LLC 6660297
8603522
1:20-cv-01511 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC FedEx Supply Chain, Inc. 10220537
8888953
1:20-cv-09446 Filed SHENZHEN NEEWER TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. SHENZHEN MAITEWEI INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CO., LTD.
ALLISMAN (SHENZHEN) TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD
D881980
D887590
D901054
6:20-cv-01040 Filed Rothschild Broadcast Distribution Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Dialpad, Inc. 8856221
1:20-cv-00918 Filed Frederick Hall
Alien Technologies Corp
John D Cullinan
Lynx Precision Products Corporation
9643823
1:20-cv-01379 Filed Gilbert P. Hyatt Andrei Iancu
1:20-cv-01524 Filed AstraZeneca
Daiichi Sankyo
Seagen Inc. 10808039
1:20-cv-01528 Filed Pfizer
PF PRISM IMB BV
Warner-Lambert Co
Aurobindo Pharma, Ltd.
EUGIA PHARMA SPECIALTIES, LTD.
10723730
1:20-cv-01531 Filed Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.
H Lundbeck A/S
Hetero USA, Inc.
Hetero Drugs
Hetero Labs, Ltd.
Honour Lab Ltd.
RE48059
2:20-cv-05681 Filed Franklin Armory Holdings
FRANKLIN ARMORY INC
ROBERT JOSEPH GALLAGHER
IN THE FIELD DEFENSE
10393461
4:20-cv-03862 Filed Eko Brands, LLC Kathy Jordan agent of Zayna Center 8707855
10154751
2:20-cv-10269 Filed Better Mouse Company, LLC VTIN Technology Company, Limited 7532200
8:20-cv-02166 Filed Better Mouse Company, LLC Kingston Technology Co., Inc. 7532200
1:20-cv-01513 Filed Intexact Technologies Limited Arlo Technologies, Inc. 7161483
1:20-cv-02079 Filed Schindler Elevator Corporation Murolet IP LLC 8162109
8172044
8196711
8286755
8316997
3:20-cv-03365 Filed Rothschild Broadcast Distribution Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Fuze, Inc. 8856221
6:20-cv-01041 Filed The California Institute of Technology Hewlett-Packard 7116710
7421032
7916781
1:20-cv-01516 Filed McAfee, LLC Trust & Verify Data Protection, LLC 7162735
2:20-cv-02083 Filed Ningbo Albert Novosino Co. Ltd. Digital Cashflow, LLC
Christopher Ackerman
10525191
2:20-cv-00361 Filed Genentech, Inc. FUJIFILM Corp.
Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd.
Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics Co., Ltd.
Centus Biotherapeutics Limited
6586206
8574869
10017732
10336983
10208355
10662237
10676710
9441035
7390660
9795672
2:20-cv-10409 Filed Seal4Safti, Inc. California Expanded Metal Products Co. 7814718
10406389
7681365
8151526
8136314
1:20-cv-01523 Filed Castlemorton Wireless, LLC Intel Corp.
Maxlinear
7835421
2:20-cv-00359 Filed Viking Technologies, LLC Teleplan Service Solutions Inc.
Clover Technologies Group, LLC
Reconext LLC
Clover Wireless, LLC
Teleplan Holding USA, Inc.
8888953
10220537
5:20-cv-07895 Filed Better Mouse Company, LLC Acer, Inc. 7532200
1:20-cv-06660 Filed Internet Media Interactive Corp. Michaels Cos. 6049835
2:20-cv-02146 Filed Pso-Rite.com LLC Exerscribe Incorporated D823479
1:20-mc-01111 Filed UNM Rainforest Innovations GlobalFoundries U.S. Inc.
Globalfoundries U.S. 2 LLC
GlobalFoundries, Inc.
6:20-cv-01042 Filed The California Institute of Technology Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies Inc.
7116710
7421032
7916781
1:20-cv-24640 Filed Signify North America Corporation and Signify Holding B.V. Robe Lighting S.R.O.
Robe Lighting Inc
2:20-cv-00521 Filed Eko Brands, LLC Franklin B. Iott
Di-Oro Living LLC
8561524
8707855
10154751
2:20-cv-02076 Filed Eko Brands, LLC Housewares Solutions, LLC
Paul Wilkie
8707855
10154751
6:20-cv-01045 Filed RedZone Robotics, Inc. SewerVue, Inc. 9739792
8467049
8525124
10072800
2:20-cv-00803 Filed Sundesa dba Blender Bottle Company THGPP
Hut Group Limited, The dba Myprotein
6379032
D510235
2:20-cv-10430 Filed Impo International LLC Skechers U.S.A. D734016
D885738
D672122
5:20-cv-02367 Filed CAO Lighting, Inc. Lights of America, Inc. 6465961
8:20-cv-02679 Filed Display Technologies, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] GoZone WiFi, LLC 9300723
5:20-cv-05659 Filed Baxter International, Inc.
GAMBRO UF SOLUTIONS, INC
Gambro Lundia, AB
B. BRAUN AVITUM, AG
B Braun Medical, Inc.
SPARTRONICS FREDERICK, LLC
6887214
6796955
7540851
8267308
8459543
8926540
9364604
9514322
10102925
10155080
10796792
7232418
7314554
7727391
7867393
3:20-cv-00969 Filed PowerTec Solutions International, LLC Precision Power, LLC 10637264
10714954
6:20-cv-01047 Filed Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. Sonim Technologies 6473527
6972790
8537242
7292261
6972774
6:20-cv-01049 Filed Virtual Immersion Technologies [Empire IP] Black and Veatch Construction, Inc. 6409599
6:20-cv-01051 Filed Browse3D LLC Staples, Inc. 10031897

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 as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

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