Patent Filings Roundup: Disney Displeasure Cruise; WSOU Investments’ Recordation Problems; and Chinese Company Targets Chinese Counterfeiters in U.S. Court

By Jonathan Stroud
April 16, 2021

patent filings roundup - https://depositphotos.com/3834376/stock-photo-lawsuit.htmlA slightly higher than average 38 petitions were filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week, all inter partes reviews (IPRs), a number again propped up by five more patent filings against the prolific Craig Etchegoyen-led WSOU. That entity’s near-200 patents and 200 lawsuits brought in the district court represent roughly 5% of all 2020 litigation, and they show no signs of slowing their aggressive stance. District court litigation was roughly stable, with a few new campaigns popping up as outlined below.

It’s worth noting—not because it’s evidence of any trend or even statistically significant, but just given the rarity—that for the first time since I started writing these updates more than a year ago, the USPTO did not issue any Fintiv trial date or other procedural denials.

In other news, there was yet another Jeffrey Gross-led campaign initiated, this one so far targeting solely foreign e-banking (or really cybersecurity) features, called Auth Token. It has asserted two patents on transactional tokens against French, Japanese, Chinese, and Philippines-based e-transactions companies. Couple that with Caselas, LLC, yet another Raymond Anthony Joao campaign of five business method patents targeting upwards of 25 regional U.S. banks, both filed entirely in the Western District of Texas, and you can see that the end of covered business method (CBM) proceedings and the dramatic shift in patent venues has led to a continued resurgence of cases against the financial industry.

Disney Displeasure Cruise: Last year, the niche technology company, Decurtis Corporation, through their IP asset holding company Decurtis, LLC, launched a declaratory judgment suit stemming from a licensing dispute with Carnival Cruise Lines (or at least, their corporate parent, Carnival Corporation). Filed appropriately in the Middle District of Florida, the case implicates Disney Magicbands.

The allegations cut deeper than a pure patent dispute and implicate strong words and wide-ranging (if unproven) allegations of unfair business practices. Here, Decurtis offers—essentially—Wi Fi and other SAS solutions related to “guest experience,” including wearable identifiers (think Disney Magicbands) for guests to interact with on-board activities. They do so for rival cruise lines Virgin Cruise Intermediate Limited, Inc. (“Virgin”) and Norwegian Cruise Line (“NCL”) via their DPX System, and indeed, had worked with Disney Cruise Lines as a supplier since 2008.

Decurtis alleged a little under a year ago that while they were working with Disney to implement some form of guest services at their parks in a particular restaurant, a Disney executive, John Padgett, spearheaded a project that resulted in Disney’s massively successful Magicbands project, and at the time, Carnival was a client of Decurtis; that they had already pitched Carnival on such a system; and that Padgett then moved to Carnival, rejected their concept, and launched his own OceanMedallion project (to be clear, Decurtis does not allege any liability or corporate wrongdoing by Disney or even Padgett while he was at Disney).

The really unique part of the Decurtis action, though, is that it alleges Carnival is and was abusing its market position via fraudulently obtaining and threatening patents on (effectively) the same on-ship technology solutions. They claim that they have had to indemnify one customer and have lost the other, based entirely on Carnival’s actions. Decurtis first sought declaratory judgment that those patents failed to name the right inventors and that Carnival “sham” threatened litigation. The action is for unenforcability, a Sherman Act monopolization claim, non-infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference with prospective business advantage, but does not raise invalidity. Now Decurtis has fired off three invalidity warning shots, filing three IPRs to date on three patents originally included in the non-infringement DJ.

Nokia and WSOU’s Paper of Record: It’s widely known that super-NPE WSOU Investments LLC, run by former Uniloc head Craig Etchegoyen, purchases thousands of Nokia patents and has been asserting hundreds of them for just over a year. As the twenty-first challenge to one of the hundreds of asserted patents shows, however, Etchegoyen may have some recordation problems on his hands—as at least some of the patents are still assigned to Nokia and no transfer or assignment has ever been recorded. This comes after evidence of other breaks in chain-of-title and questions were raised in some of the district court proceedings about the action of the transfer to WSOU Investments. This particular IPR, by Huawei Technologies, was one of five filed by various defendants this week and is likely not the last to be filed against the aggressive filer, by a longshot. The IPR is IPR2021-00692 and the patent is U.S. 7,406,074.

Design Patent Counterfeiting Suit Brought by Chinese Company Against Chinese Counterfeiters: The Northern District of Illinois is developing quite the reputation as a top place to file against online overseas counterfeiters, in part because of a local rule that waives Hague service for certain ephemeral virtual storefronts. As can be seen by regular public litigation filings, parties have taken to filing large “Schedule A” defendant lists and seeking temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions against the widescale platform infringement, earning (presumably) settlements and default judgments along the way. The courts there and elsewhere in the United States seem to be taking pity on consumer goods sellers who otherwise have an intractable global counterfeiting problem. The practice, though, has also helped fuel the rise of design patent litigation of a similar caliber. While it’s generally been used by U.S. companies against schedules of foreign-based storefronts seeking to extract some form of freeze and payment from foreign counterfeiters unlikely to appear, one company based in the People’s Republic of China is seeking to turn that assumption on its head— Shen Zhen Pin Zheng Digital Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. has filed just such an action there on a single design patent, D866998, alleging widespread counterfeiting of the successful design of an inflatable baby mat that company sells. It will be interesting to watch and see if this betokens a broader push by foreign companies to use the forum the same way U.S. companies have been, and if the court takes the location of the filer into consideration in any meaningful way when granting relief, in law or otherwise.

PTAB (38)

Case Number Action Owner Petitioner Patent
IPR2021-00782 Filed Carnival Corporation Decurtis, LLC 10045184
IPR2021-00754 Filed Q3 Networking LLC [IP Edge] Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Aruba Networks, LLC
Netgear, Inc.
Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
8797853
IPR2021-00662 Filed University of California Satco Products, Inc. 10644213
IPR2021-00766 Filed Bumble Trading Inc. Humble Trading LLC 9763070
IPR2021-00765 Filed Kinectus LLC Bumble Trading Inc. 9294428
IPR2021-00672 Filed Nabors Drilling Techs. USA, Inc. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co.;
Motive Drilling Tech., Co.
7860593
IPR2021-00787 Filed Sipco, LLC [Glocom, Inc.; IPCO, LLC] Aruba Networks, LLC
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
7103511
IPR2021-00762 Filed Dali Wireless Inc. Corning Optical Communications LLC 9826508
IPR2021-00764 Filed Kinectus LLC Bumble Trading Inc. 10516979
IPR2021-00692 Filed Nokia of America Corporation
[likely WSOU Investments LLC, WSOU Holdings, and Craig Etchegoyen]
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 7406074
IPR2021-00715 Filed Flexiworld Technologies, Inc. Roku, Inc. 10346114
IPR2021-00771 Filed Guada Technologies Inc. [IP Edge] Argos USA LLC
Dole Food Co., Inc.
The Gillette Company, LLC
Milacron LLC
PLY Gem Industries, Inc.
7231379
IPR2021-00738 Filed Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 6781226
IPR2021-00736 Filed Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 7282951
IPR2021-00763 Filed Kinectus LLC Bumble Trading Inc. 10117074
IPR2021-00794 Filed The Regents of the University of California Satco Products, Inc. 10593854
IPR2021-00768 Filed WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen] Juniper Networks, Inc. 7483998
IPR2021-00691 Filed WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen] Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 7460658
IPR2021-00783 Filed Carnival Corporation Decurtis, LLC 10157514
IPR2021-00793 Filed Altria Client Services LLC [Altria Group] R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company 10420374
IPR2021-00792 Filed Ecofactor, Inc. Ecobee, Inc. 8498753
IPR2021-00776 Filed Monterey Research, LLC [IP Value, Vector Capital Corp., Fortress IP] Advance Micro Devices, Inc 6534805
IPR2021-00774 Filed Triller Inc. ByteDance Ltd.
TikTok Inc.
9691429
IPR2021-00753 Filed Q3 Networking LLC [IP Edge] Hewlett Packard Enterprises Co.
Aruba Networks, LLC
Netgear, Inc.
Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
7457627
IPR2021-00775 Filed Colibre Heart Valve LLC Edwards LifeSciences Corporation 9125739
IPR2021-00714 Filed Flexiworld Technologies, Inc. Roku, Inc. 8989064
IPR2021-00690 Filed  WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen] Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 7423962
IPR2021-00735 Filed Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 7126214
IPR2021-00722 Filed Siemens Games Renewable Energy A/S General Electric Company
GE Renewables North America, LLC
9279413
IPR2021-00769 Filed WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen] Juniper Networks, Inc. 8284656
IPR2021-00723 Filed Siemens Games Renewable Energy A/S General Electric Company
GE Renewables North America, LLC
8575776
IPR2021-00777 Filed Pilot, Inc. The Noco Company, Inc. 10046653
IPR2021-00661 Filed University of California Satco Products, Inc. 10658557
IPR2021-00689 Filed WSOU Investments, LLC d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development [WSOU Holdings, LLC, Craig Etchegoyen] Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 7933211
IPR2021-00784 Filed Carnival Corporation Decurtis, LLC 10049516
IPR2021-00703 Filed D3d Technologies Inc.
Tipping Point Medical Images LLC
Microsoft Corporation 9473766
IPR2021-00640 Filed 3G Licensing S.A. [Fineur Int’l.] Cradlepoint, Inc.
Dell, Inc.
Honeywell International, Inc.
Sierra Wireless, Inc.
TCL Communication Technology Holdings, Ltd.
et al.
8600383
IPR2021-00737 Filed Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. RE42035
IPR2020-01422 Not Instituted – Merits Nxp B.V. Impinj, Inc. 7257092
IPR2021-00056 Not Instituted – Merits Infernal Technology, LLC
Terminal Reality, Inc.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 7061488
IPR2021-00173 Not Instituted – Merits AGC, Inc.
AOL Inc.
Guardian Glass, LLC 8075983
IPR2021-00055 Not Instituted – Merits Infernal Technology, LLC
Terminal Reality, Inc.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 6362822
IPR2020-01631 Not Instituted – Merits VideoShare, LLC Google LLC 10362341
IPR2020-01629 Not Instituted – Merits NXP USA, Inc Impinj, Inc. 7374097
IPR2020-01623 Not Instituted – Merits Treefrog Developments, Inc. Fellowes, Inc. 8342325
IPR2021-00023 Instituted Sonova AG
Advanced Bionics AG
Med-El Elektromedizinische Gerate Ges.m.b.H. 7267847
IPR2020-01488 Instituted Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l] Wyze Labs, Inc. 7730534
IPR2020-01490 Instituted Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l] Wyze Labs, Inc. 8610772
IPR2020-01486 Instituted Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l] Wyze Labs, Inc. 8208019
IPR2020-01269 Instituted Synkloud Technologies, LLC [IdeaHub] Microsoft Corporation
HP, Inc.
9219780
IPR2020-01021 Instituted Arbor Global Strategies LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
7282951
IPR2021-00044 Instituted Advanced Bionics AG Med-El Elektromedizinische Gerate Ges.m.b.H. 8155746
IPR2020-01489 Instituted Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l] Wyze Labs, Inc., 7936370
IPR2020-01528 Instituted Onstream Media Corporation Facebook, Inc. 10038930
IPR2020-01270 Instituted Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub] Microsoft Corporation
HP, Inc.
9219780
IPR2020-01487 Instituted Sensormatic Electronics, LLC [Johnson Controls Int’l] Wyze Labs, Inc., 7954129
IPR2020-01597 Instituted Xilinx, Inc
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Analog Devices, Inc. 7224184
IPR2020-01525 Instituted Onstream Media Corporation Facebook, Inc. 9467728
IPR2020-01301 Instituted Synkloud Technologies, LLC [Ideahub] Adobe Inc. 9219780
IPR2021-00394 Instituted Arbor Global Strategies, LLC [Arbor Company, LLLP] Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. 7282951
IPR2020-01527 Instituted Onstream Media Corporation Facebook, Inc. 10200648
IPR2020-01599 Instituted Xilinx, Inc
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Analog Devices, Inc. 7088767
IPR2020-01531 Instituted Xilinx, Inc
Xilinx Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Analog Devices, Inc. 8548071
IPR2021-00007 Adverse Judgment Mambate USA Inc. Cellpak, Inc D846728
IPR2017-00319 Final Written Decision Valencell, Inc. Apple, Inc
Fitbit, Inc.
8923941
IPR2020-00023 Final Written Decision Uniloc 2017 LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank] Microsoft Corporation 6467088
IPR2019-01667 Final Written Decision Uniloc 2017 LLC LLC [Fortress IP, Softbank] Apple, Inc. 7020252
PGR2020-00001 Final Written Decision ANLI Spring Co., Ltd.
Hsien-Te Huang
Dong Guan Leafy Windoware Co. Ltd., 10174547

District Court (59)

Case Number Action Plaintiff Defendant Patent
6:21-cv-00336 Filed Lone Star Technological Innovations, LLC [TGT Enterprises, LLC] AsusTek Computer, Inc. 7512269
7391416
1:21-cv-00988 Filed ConcealFab Corporation Rosenberger Site Solutions 10724655
2:21-cv-01608 Filed Coulter Ventures, LLC, dba Rogue Fitness Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. D879216
10226661
D883405
D886920
6:21-cv-00337 Filed SecurityProfiling, LLC Cisco Systems, Inc. 9100431
10609063
10873595
10893066
2:21-cv-03070 Filed Celanese International Corporation
Celanese Sales US Ltd
Celanese (Malta) Company 2 Limited
Anhui Jinhe Industrial Co., Ltd.
ProSweetz Ingredients Inc. d/b/a PanaSource Ingredients Inc.
Suzhou-Chem, Inc.
Jinhe USA LLC
NiuSource, Inc.
et al.
10590098
10233163
10590095
10023546
10208004
8:21-cv-00658 Filed Roku, Inc. Universal Electronics Inc.
C.G. Development Ltd.
UEI Brasil Controles Remotos Ltda.
Universal Electronics BV
CG Mxico Remote Controls, S. de R.L. de C.V.
et al.
8378875
7388511
6:21-cv-00343 Filed Caselas, LLC [Raymond Anthony Joao] Bancorp South Bank 9715691
7529698
7661585
9117206
9117230
1:21-cv-01916 Filed Shen Zhen Pin Zheng Digital Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. The Partnerships and Unicorporated Associations Identified On Schedule “A” D866998
1:21-cv-08158 Filed Miller Industries Towing Equipment Inc. NRC Industries 9440577
1:21-cv-02874 Filed David Hirshberg Pinterest, Inc.
3:21-cv-00227 Filed Kraken Sports, Inc. EASYDIVE DI FABIO BENVENUTI
FABIO BENVENUTI
10262395
1:21-cv-00507 Filed Icon Health and Fitness, Inc. Peloton Interactive, Inc. 10864407
7:21-cv-03003 Filed DatRec, LLC [Nacar IP] HARRIS HEALTHCARE 8381309
2:21-cv-00215 Filed Axcess Global Services
Pruvit Ventures
New U Life Disc
New U Life Corp
6613356
10736861
6:21-cv-00351 Filed Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross] Idemia Identity & Security France
6:21-cv-00354 Filed Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross] Yubico AB
1:21-cv-00281 Filed DatRec, LLC [Nacar IP] LITTLE GREEN SOFTWARE, INC. 8381309
6:21-cv-00324 Filed Sockeye Licensing TX, LLC Guangzhou Weijie Technology Co., Ltd. 9547981
8135342
6:21-cv-00325 Filed MCOM IP, LLC NCR Corp. 8862508
1:21-cv-01840 Filed Cine Graphic Solutions LLC [Strategic Intellectual Solutions, LLC, David White] Motorola Mobility 7388587
7629977
8035644
1:21-cv-00498 Filed Allergan
EPI Health, LLC
Perrigo UK FINCO LP 8815929
9974773
10751325
7812049
10335391
8420688
8883838
6:21-cv-00330 Filed SecurityProfiling, LLC Trend Micro, Inc. 9100431
10609063
10873595
10893066
2:21-cv-00126 Filed Mobile Equity Corp. Walmart, Inc. 8589236
10535058
6:21-cv-00338 Filed Digital Cache, LLC [Oso IP, LLC] Western Digital 6956738
7440274
6851015
7312982
2:21-cv-00128 Filed Vocalife LLC Bose Corp. RE48371
RE47049
2:21-cv-00129 Filed Vocalife LLC Sonos RE48371
RE47049
6:21-cv-00347 Filed Maxell Holdings, Ltd. Amperex Technology Limited 9166251
9077035
8691446
9350019
6:21-cv-00349 Filed DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH
DynaEnergetics US, Inc
Horizontal Wireline Services, LLC
Allied Wireline Services, LLC
10844697
1:21-cv-00512 Filed Virtuozzo (Cyprus) Limited Cloud Linux, Inc.
Cloud Linux Software, Inc.
9348622
1:21-cv-10598 Filed Purdue Pharma
Rhodes Technologies, Inc.
Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. 10407434
6:21-cv-00353 Filed Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross] UBIVELOX Inc.
3:21-cv-02428 Filed Core Optical Technologies, LLC Juniper Networks Inc 6782211
6:21-cv-00326 Filed Smart Path Connections, LLC Adtran, Inc. 7386010
7463580
7697525
7551599
8:21-mc-00018 Filed Warming Trends, LLC f/k/a Flaherty Holdings, LLC Fireflie Patio & Hearth, LLC; Ray Stone
2:21-cv-08563 Filed Social Positioning Input Systems, LLC [Leigh Rothschild] Angelsense 9261365
3:21-cv-08717 Filed Azurity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC. 10952998
10894039
10799453
10695329
2:21-cv-00597 Filed E Star LLC
Top Brand LLC
Sky Creations, LLC
Flying Star LLC
Cozy Comfort Company LLC
Michael Speciale
Brian Speciale
D859788
D728900
1:21-cv-21360 Filed Positiontech, LLC [Endpoint IP] Accesso, LLC 7061384
1:21-cv-21361 Filed Positiontech, LLC [Endpoint IP] Carnival Corp& Plc 6965317
7061384
6:21-cv-00345 Filed Caselas, LLC [Raymond Anthony Joao] Security Service Federal Credit Union 9715691
7529698
7661585
9117206
9117230
3:21-cv-02612 Filed Tigo Energy Inc. Zhejiang Yuneng Technology Co., Ltd.
Altenergy Power Systems Inc.
Altenergy Power Systems USA Inc.
8653689
8933321
9584021
9966848
10333405
1:21-cv-00513 Filed Virtuozzo International GmbH Cloud Linux, Inc.
Cloud Linux Software, Inc.
7461148
8145740
10795659
8539137
6:21-cv-00358 Filed L2 Mobile Technologies LLC [Longhorn IP, LLC] Google, LLC 8179913
8054777
RE47200
4:21-cv-02436 Filed Skillz Platform Inc. AviaGames Inc. 9479602
9649564
5:21-cv-02438 Filed Rothy`s, Inc. Birdies, Inc. D885016
D909718
D885017
D870425
2:21-cv-01834 Filed CuCu Inc. Luxx Group Inc.
Eli Avgi
Shawn Megira
D835714
D837877
D877242
6:21-cv-00328 Filed Smart Path Connections, LLC Juniper Networks 7386010
7961755
7463580
7697525
7551599
2:21-cv-08461 Filed Amperex Technology Limited Maxell, Ltd.
Maxel Holdings, Inc.
8691446
9166251
9077035
9350019
4:21-cv-00402 Filed DDC Technology, LLC DPI, Inc. aka Digital Products International, Inc. 9811184
10528199
9420075
9723117
6:21-cv-00331 Filed InterGlobe Technologies.; IGT Canada Solutions ULC Zynga 8708791
7168089
7303473
9159189
8266212
8795064
2:21-cv-00213 Filed Geographic Location Innovations [Leigh Rothschild] Bric`s USA 7917285
2:21-cv-02921 Filed Bryan Alan Yonan California Air Resources Board
5:21-cv-02554 Filed Correlated Magnetics Research, LLC Logitech, S.A. 8354909
8314672
10173292
2:21-cv-08706 Filed Koninklijke Philips Ideavillage Products Corp. D758661
D776878
D870972
D748859
D788368
D905346
6:21-cv-00346 Filed Red Rock Analytics Apple
Qualcomm Incorporated
7346313
6:21-cv-00138 Filed Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust] Fortinet, Inc. 7719963
6553005
7103046
7107352
6252848
6870844
6:21-cv-00350 Filed Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross] Feitian Technologies Co., Ltd.
6:21-cv-00352 Filed Auth Token LLC [Jeffrey Gross] JCB Co., Ltd.
6:21-cv-00357 Filed Parity Networks, LLC [Valence Technology, Capital Legal Group PLLC, The CAM Technology Irrevocable Trust] Buffalo, Inc. 7107352
7103046

 

Image Source: Deposit Photos
Author gunnar3000
Image ID: 3834376

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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