IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

All Posts by 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, pooling, and district court work in addition to trademark, copyright, administrative, amicus, policy, marketing, and corporate matters.

Prior to Unified, he was a litigator with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, and prior to that, he was a 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.
Patent Filings Round-up: Claims from $25 Million Verdict Held Unpatentable After Stay Denied; Panel Denies IPR Over Lengthy Reexam History

It was a relatively consistent week in terms of overall patent filings, with 24 inter partes reviews (IPRs) and two post grant reviews (PGRs) and 77 new district court complaints. The district court saw a couple of new higher-profile cases involving Google, one by small company, Flypsi, and another a declaratory judgment (DJ) action against small smart thermostat maker (and aggressive enforcer), Ecofactor.

Patent Filings Roundup: New Litigation-Funded Campaign; PTAB Denies Under NHK-Fintiv Despite Sotera(ish) Stipulation

Apologies for missing last week, which was a light, short holiday recap—nothing much of note beyond less-than-average filings, given the holidays. This week was back to the new normal at the Board, with 24 petitions—one post grant review (PGR) and 23 inter partes reviews (IPRs)—and 50 new filings, with fewer than usual file-and-settle suits (as it’s the beginning of a quarter, year, and month). Another unusually high 92 terminations are mostly due to the end of file-and-settle suits from last year. A few new campaigns of note below, more discretionary denials, and a bunch of IPR denials filed against a German microbattery company round out the week.

Patent Filings Round-up: IPR on $2.18 Billion VLSI Patent Instituted; IP Edge Filing Patterns Emerge

The post-Christmas filing rush is upon us—a slight dip during the Christmas holiday is normally followed by a end-of-year complaint filing spike, and this year is no different; 72 new filings, most coming just before or after the holiday (with another 50 terminations, as cases settle going into the end of Q4).  There was also a subpar 24 petitions filed (22 IPRs and 2 PGRs).  We are starting to see a trickle of more PGRs, as post-AIA continuation patents issue, currently in litigation, that nonetheless are in the window for the expanded proceedings, but don’t expect ever to rise to much more than a handful every month.  Those IPRs are propped up by further challenges to the now-ubiquitous Fortress IP and Magentar Capital-funded campaigns (here, Scramoge and Netlist) as well as the somewhat-newer funded Staton Techiya LLC campaign [Synergy IP Corp., Staton Capital].  There’s a newish chip campaign against Qualcomm, Apple, Google, and major chip companies by Vector Capital [Future Link Systems]; all in all, a busy holiday period.

Patent Filings Roundup: Joao Entity Sues Nonprofits, Pediatricians; Fortress Entity Sues LG on TVs in ED Tex; Vector Capital-funded Semi Campaign Runs into the PTAB

As we finish up the year, the high district court termination rate continues; 85 terminations this week, including a fair amount of transfers, rounded out a normal PTAB week (29 filed) and a slightly depressed litigation week (with 50 new complaints). 

Patent Filings Roundup: Cal Tech Sues Samsung After $1 Billion Apple Verdict; Joao Entity Sues UT’s Health System; Intel Loses Six Against Bill Chu’s Acqis LLC

Another 82 district court terminations this week was again high, though careful analysis has revealed that many of those cases were terminated voluntarily and refiled elsewhere. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) saw just 22 inter partes reviews (IPRs) this week; a few parties walked away from their patents, including Litl LLC [TRI Ventures, Inc.], after a challenge by Microsoft. District court was up this week to 94 patent filings, and the year looks poised to end with filings up substantially over years past. The Board again exercised its Fintiv muscles in an IPR with a case pending in the International Trade Commission (ITC), this one an entity funded by Techquity Captial Management. Other semiconductor patents asserted by NPEs went down on Final Written Decision in IPR, including one of the patents asserted by Vector Capital’s Monterey Research; it’s worth noting that the semiconductor companies have collectively spent a lot of time before the Board this year after the increase in NPE suits there this year.

Patent Filings Roundup: Board Reverses Own Fintiv Denial; Joao Entity’s Bad Bet; NPE Adopts Anticounterfeiting Tactics

With the Thanksgiving holiday, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) (18) filings were down, but district court patent filings held steady at 62, with (again) an astounding number of closed or terminated cases (almost 100), many voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. As reported last week, in Google LLC v. EcoFactor, Inc. IPR, IPR2021-00982, the Board originally denied the petition, citing Fintiv and the statutory timing of International Trade Commission (ITC) investigations. Subsequently, though, the Board was made aware that the patent had been dropped from the ITC case, and reversed its earlier discretionary denial, thus instituting the case. It’s the first time I’m aware of that the Board has reversed a denial of institution, not on request for rehearing, but sua sponte after the discretionary reasons for denial evaporated (as they often do).

Patent Filings Roundup: Light Week Leading up to the Holidays Sees Record District Court Terminations

Happy Holidays! Thanksgiving has come and gone. A light week last week headed into the holidays saw 20 Patent Trial and Appeal Board filings (two more against MemoryWeb, and a lot of one-offs, including one by gaming company Zynga against IGT). District courts saw 58 patent filings, with a whopping 115 terminations again this week—at least a few attributable to transfers, but many, many more attributable to file-and-settle settlements headed into the end of a very lucrative year in monetization, as quarterly statement-minded licensing entities look to wrap things up before the holidays.

Patent Filings Roundup: Judge Albright Hits Back at Federal Circuit; APJ Urges Board to Consider Litigiousness Under Fintiv; PTAB Reverses Fintiv Denial after ITC Termination

District court patent filings this week remained slightly elevated, at 78, with a fair number of Rothschild, Raymond Anthony Joao, and Jeffrey Gross entities filings complaints; but oddly—after their explosion of new litigations the past two weeks—there was not a single IP Edge case to speak of. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for its part, was up slightly too, with 37 new petitions (one post grant review and 36 inter partes reviews). Speaking of Jeffrey Gross, though it consists of two patents issued in 2013, the Jeffrey Gross-run Auth Token LLC appears to have waited until the sunset of covered business method (CBM) petitions to turn around and slap virtually all of the nation’s banks, credit card companies, and some financiers with a lawsuit over two pretty identical point-of-sale authentication patents. The cases now include Mastercard, Visa, M&T Bank, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, TD Bank, Trust Financial, and US Bancorp (US Bank), among the 32 defendants thus far.  But the real action was between the Federal Circuit and Judge Albright, as the words and rulings of each become increasingly confrontational toward the other.

Patent Filings Roundup: In a Slow Week, IP Edge Hits Amazon on Cryptographic Keys and Jeffrey Gross-Run Entities Proliferate

Another week, another dearth of any Fintiv denials, which sort of begs the question, if the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has effectively walked back their reliance on the Fintiv factors, does that order’s precedential status merit walking back? In terms of district court and PTAB filings, subdued is the word; just 19 PTAB petitions (all inter partes reviews) with four being apparent joinders by LG Electronics against Gesture Technology Partners, LLC [a Tim Pryor entity] well prior to institution, seeking to join Apple petitions. Previous Pryor entities include Motion Games LLC, PSTP Ttechnologies, Tactile Feedback Technology, LMI Technologies Inc., and Great Lakes Intellectual Property, Ltd]. Gil Hyatt filed yet another suit this week (and has filed one a week, it seems, for some time).

Patent Filings Roundup: IP Edge Files Another 50, Comprising 13% of all District Court Litigation; Hawk Hit with Declaratory Judgment For Asserting Already-Invalid Patent

It was another banner week in district court complaints, led primarily by a deluge of new IP Edge complaints—49 in all, by my count—including newer subsidiaries (like Wiesblatt Licensing or Hickory IP) and old mainstays like Moxchange and Tunnel IP (over a dozen entities in total). At this point in 2021, IP Edge has filed at least 519 known suits via non-practicing entity (NPE) vehicles (more by various counts); it is by far the highest aggregate filer of all time, and of this year. To date, there have been 4,001 patent complaints filed (per Unified’s portal, based on publicly available PACER docket data); IP Edge thus has again filed upwards of 10% (so far, 13+%) of all U.S. patent litigation in 2021, up from last year. It also, for the first time, went to trial on one of its many patent assertions, though overwhelmingly vast majority of them remain file-and-settle affairs.

Patent Filings Roundup: Intellectual Ventures Jumps Stalled Car Campaign; DJ against Mystery Sons of Innovation LLC; Another Hundred Suits Dismissed

It was a (relatively) light Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) and district court week, with 26 PTAB (two post grant reviews and 24 inter partes reviews) and 48 new district court complaints, with the number of dismissals or closed cases in district court again reaching nearly 100 for the third week in a row—I’m unsure exactly, though I suspect it has something to do with a fair number of cases being voluntarily dismissed and refiled in other jurisdictions following renewed vigor in venue analysis after the Federal Circuit’s recent round of mandamuses of Judge Albright’s cases (he’s up to 17 mandamuses on the issue of venue, mostly over the past calendar year by my count, which as far as I know is a single-judge record).

Patent Filings Roundup: District Court Termination Wave, Old-Fashioned Oil Fights, NPE Targets Apple and Others

A slightly above-average week in filings saw 38 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions (one post grant review and 37 inter partes reviews) and 71 district court complaints, with another massive wave of district court terminations—likely due at least in part to parties voluntarily dismissing cases and refiling them based on recent venue rulings, though it’s hard to capture, as many are simple voluntary dismissals. There also appears to have been an RPX settlement of Proven Networks (based on conjecture given the public dockets and en masse terminations); a batch of new non-practicing entity (NPE) campaigns (many spun out from Intellectual Ventures-licensed patents), including Buffalo Patents, a new single-patent DynaIP retail suit, LINFO IP, LLC, against CVS, Sears, Costco, and Target, among others; and while it isn’t captured here, Intellectual Ventures just yesterday itself launched its first major suit in years on IV Funds I and II; more on that next week.

Patent Filings Roundup: Uniloc (Fortress) Waves White Flag; IP Edge Files Dozens of Complaints to Start Third Quarter; Joao NPE Sues Texas Border Health Clinic, Withdraws

The third quarter came in like a wrecking ball, with district court patent filings spiking to 121 (roughly double average, driven entirely by a huge 48-complaint dump by IP Edge subsidiaries); Patent Trial and appeal Board (PTAB) filings were steady at 28, all  inter partes reviews (IPRs). A pattern seems to be emerging from IP Edge of a spike in settlements and terminations at the end of a fiscal quarter, followed by another round of filings when the next quarter starts. IP Edge is on pace to break the records it previously held for most complaints by a set of related entities in a calendar year. The Board denied another case under their Section 314(d) Fintiv discretion in light of an International Trade Commission (ITC) case, noting that, as “the ITC is scheduled to complete its investigation approximately seven-and-a-half months before the due date for the final written decision, this factor weighs in favor of exercising our discretion to deny institution.”

Patent Filings Roundup: Board Shirks SAS Institute, Defunct Jawbone Entity Sues Big Tech, and Gaming Industry Targeted in California Court

A normal filing week saw 27 new petitions, all inter partes reviews (IPRs), and 54 district court patent filings, a fair number related to a few new Leigh Rothschild campaigns, some pharma suits, and others. For whatever reason (one would assume, end of the quarter), an unusual number (hundreds) of non-practicing entity (NPE) suits terminated last week, at least against some defendants. More on a handful of cases below.

Patent Filings Roundup: Trio of Actions Accuse IP Investments of Coordinated Campaign with Intellectual Ventures Backend; Judge Albright Cancels One of 141 WSOU-Asserted Patents; New Magnetar Entity Surfaces

A light Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and busy district court week for patent filings marked the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the America Invents Act, with 18 petitions (two post grant reviews [PGRs] and 16 inter partes reviews [IPRs]) and 78 district court complaints filed. A handful of those IPRs are semiconductor cases carried over from previous fights already reported here;