Jonathan Stroud is General 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.
District court and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings were both down substantially this week, with 57 and 15, respectively, and 91 district court terminations. The drop-off of patent filings in the Western District of Texas has perhaps not been as pronounced as might be expected, though obviously most of those cases are being assigned to other judges there, or continuations of defendants being added to suits already within the Waco court’s jurisdiction. The Traxcell campaign continued to spiral, with many new defendants added; ditto the Hilco capital-led Bell Semiconductor case, which added an even more diverse list of defendants to the already-long roster. Otherwise most suits this week, with the exception of a few highlighted below, are related to earlier-filed suits.
Twenty-three inter partes reviews (IPRs) and no post grant reviews were filed this week; plaintiffs filed an average-ish 79 new district court filings, though many were associated with older campaigns. The Daedalus Prime subsidiary asserting Intel patents has filed suits against Samsung and TSMC; Volkswagen filed a number of IPRs against Fortress-backed Neo Wireless. There were, again, no discretionary denials at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), though certainly merits-based denials continue apace; many challenges against Magnetar entity Scramoge have been instituted; and Red Hat filed a declaratory judgment action for non-infringement against litigation-funded Valtrus [Centerbridge Capital, run by Key Patent Innovations] on patents not yet asserted in district court, just as Google began challenging a different set of patents asserted against just them.
The back-to-school lull is in full effect this week, with 54 district court patent filings, 88 terminations, and 21 new Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings, all inter partes reviews (IPRs), with all filings slightly below average numbers. This week saw more Express Mobile, Inc. institutions at the Board, suggesting that, of the five rather widely asserted assets (hundreds of suits against hundreds of defendants), all five are likely invalid for various reasons. Qualcomm in an IPR cancelled some of the semiconductor patents being asserted via the University of New Mexico; public records indicate that UNM has been acting as a vehicle for assertions in the space, and is one of the more aggressive universities to spin out NPEs for suit. Google lost a patent to a Phillips challenge against FitBit; and a lot of activity from frequent entities managed by Jeffrey Gross, including a one-patent (expired) case against wearable companies that has been bought and sold a number of times over the past few years; RPX appears to have a license.
There were 33 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings (all inter partes reviews [IPRs]), with just 42 new district court patent filings this week. That, coupled with 67 terminations, suggests that either it’s the summer doldrums, or the Western District of Texas/Waco reshuffling order is having an immediate impact on filings, as would-be plaintiffs reassess venue choices—at least in the short term. Of the terminations, a large chunk are IP Edge (per usual); the IPRs represent mostly defendants in litigation challenging claims asserted against them, with a few notable exceptions. In the district courts, a new Jeff Gross entity was the biggest filer, with some other activity highlighted below. One entity, Alidouble, appears to have ties with both Israeli and Hong Kong-based predecessors-in-interests, with Hong Kong-based Keystone Intellectual Property Management recorded.