NPE Patent Cases Increase By 11% In 2021 – Law360
Patent litigation by nonpracticing entities continues to climb this year, with a new report estimating that these suits are up almost 11% compared with the same period last year, driven in part by disputes over automotive and mobile device patents.
Restoring the America Invents Act: legislative measure to defend post-grant review of U.S. patents welcomed by tech industry, patent experts
About a year ago I described a complaint by Apple, Google, Intel, and Cisco over then-USPTO Director Iancu’s PTAB rulemaking as “litigation to the rescue of legislation” because the case was brought in defense of the ideas underlying the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). Essentially, Mr. Iancu had gutted the PTAB IPR (inter partes review) part of the AIA by establishing a discretionary-denial regime.
Patent trolls’ underhanded trade schemes must be stopped
Patent trolls have figured out that petitioning the ITC to investigate intellectual property (IP) infringement can yield particularly rich gains, because unlike a court case, the unusual statute governing the ITC creates an overwhelming threat to a respondent company’s entire business if an investigation is launched.
Albright Won’t Wait To Transfer ‘Venue Manipulation’ Cases – Law360
U.S. District Judge Alan Albright has said he won’t wait for a patent licensing company to seek Supreme Court review of a Federal Circuit decision that it was engaging in “venue manipulation,” opting instead to transfer its infringement suits against Samsung, LG and Uber to California.
Senator Leahy announces plans for legislation to change PTAB review
Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said Wednesday that he would introduce legislation “restoring” the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s inter partes review process “to what Congress intended,” addressing what he said were efforts to “hamstring” challenges to low-quality patents.
Beau Phillips: N.C. manufacturers need protection from patent litigation abuse
Like tens of thousands of manufacturers in North Carolina, Jeff Queen knows how hard it is to run a manufacturing business. His father and son tackle-making operation created an innovative new jig using tungsten that was a big hit with anglers. With their new lure selling at many major sporting goods stores, Queen Tackle was on its way up — until the patent infringement lawsuit arrived.
‘Clear Pathway’ Out of Waco Seen Emerging for Patent Defendants
A trail of unhappy defendants from Waco, Texas, to the patent appeals court in Washington is starting to build a blueprint for companies that want to get cases moved out of the nation’s fledgling patent-dispute hotbed.
How a Former Law Clerk Earned $700K This Year as a Court-Appointed Technical Adviser | National Law Journal
U.S. District Judge Alan Albright has turned to former Dechert associate and EE Ph.D Joshua Yi for help in at least 29 claim construction proceedings as the patent docket in Waco has exploded. Some attorneys welcome the involvement of a technically sophisticated expert, while others are wary of Albright’s model.
N.C. federal court upholds state’s anti-‘patent troll’ law
A North Carolina federal court upheld the state’s law targeting non-practicing entities that make bad faith patent-infringement claims, rejecting a challenge by NPE Landmark Technology in the first case to weigh in on the law’s validity.
Albright Updates Rules For Interdistrict Transfers – Law360
Western District of Texas Judge Alan D. Albright on Wednesday announced new rules for when litigants seek to transfer cases out of the district.
Albright Slams ‘Blatant Forum Shopping’ In SmileDirect Case – Law360
U.S. District Judge Alan Albright has shipped a case to Delaware after finding that SmileDirectClub’s decision to file a patent infringement suit against Candid Care in the Western District of Texas was an act of “blatant forum shopping.”
VLSI inches closer to $2.2B final judgment as Judge Albright denies Intel’s motion for new trial
Things are moving forward again in VLSI v. Intel . Judge Alan Albright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has denied the first of several post-trial motions with which Intel is challenging the record $2.175B verdict.
This Captcha Patent Is An All-American Nightmare
A newly formed patent troll is looking for big money from small business websites, just for using free, off-the-shelf login verification tools.
Defenders of the American Dream, LLC (DAD ), is sending out its demand letters to websites that use Google’s reCAPTCHA system, accusing them of infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,621,578. Google’s reCAPTCHA is just one form of a Captcha test, which describes a wide array of test systems that websites use to verify human users and keep out bots.
Despite changes to the law, a Texas federal court has been a bridge for “patent trolls,” critics say
In his oral argument for eBay v. MercExchange (2006), the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia famously called the district on which Collin and Denton Counties lie a “renegade jurisdiction.”
This quip echoed sentiments shared by entrepreneurs, tech moguls and attorneys, who have identified the United States Department of Justice’s Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) – whose Sherman Division includes Collin and Denton counties – as a hotbed for frivolous patent infringement litigation.
NPE Patent Cases Are Up 7% In First Half Of 2021 – Law360
Patent litigation by nonpracticing entities in the first half of 2021 has gone up compared with the same time frame last year, with one company in particular filing more than a quarter of those cases, according to a new report.
Acacia targets HomeAway – Austin Business Journal
A company that has sued about 100 prominent companies — such as Bank of America Corp., Google Inc., Travelocity.com LP, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and Etsy Inc. — for patent infringement is now targeting vacation rental website operator HomeAway Inc.
Apple’s threat to quit Britain over £5bn patent row
The threat raises the prospect of an end to new iPhone sales in the UK and the restriction of services and upgrades to existing customers. Apple issued the warning as part of a court battle with Optis.
5 Patent Cases To Watch In The Second Half Of 2021 – Law360
The U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding later this year whether to take up a highly controversial patent eligibility case, while a California federal court mulls whether discretionary denial precedent at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board is legal. Here are five cases in patent attorneys’ sights for the rest of the year.
Federal Circuit may overrule Judge Albright should he hold Markman hearing prior to ruling on Volkswagen’s motion to transfer venue
We’re in the Western District of Texas again. Sometimes, such as on Thursday, I agree with Judge Alan Albright . As a former patent litigator, he knows this stuff inside out. But there are issues.
Don’t mess with the Western District of Texas: Judge Albright’s strictness in fracking patent case may be justified by egregious misconduct
Over the last couple of years, two courts have emerged as the world’s patent litigation hotspots–the places to be if you’re a plaintiff, and the places to watch regardless of whether you assert or defend against patent: the Waco division of the Western District of Texas, where Judge Alan Albright now gets about 20% of all U.S. patent infringement complaints, and the Munich I Regional Court, which will add a third patent litigation division next month.
Federal Circuit Tears Up Road Map for Keeping Patent Cases in Texas | National Law Journal
Local interests are not a fiction, Federal Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk writes in directing Judge Alan Albright to send two patent infringement cases from Waco to Northern California.
Intel Wants Full Fed. Circ. Redo Of VLSI Patent Appeals – Law360
Intel Corp. asked the full Federal Circuit Monday to rehear its challenge to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s policy of refusing to institute review of a patent when a trial is looming in district court, arguing that the panel relied on one of its own decisions that conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
The petition for a panel rehearing and a rehearing en banc comes after the Federal Circuit rejected its appeal in an ongoing patent battle with VLSI Technology that resulted in a multi-billion verdict against Intel.
Intel said that the panel erred in upholding a PTAB rule that is “depriving Intel and other leading innovators of the efficient patent-review process that Congress viewed as integral to the patent system. The panel’s ruling leaves that unlawful action immune from this court’s scrutiny.”
Supreme Court Says Over 200 Patent Judges Were Improperly Appointed
A fractured coalition of justices limited the effect of the decision, saying a larger role for an executive branch official would address the matter.
State Laws Fighting Patent System’s ‘Dark Underbelly’ Put to Test
Laws against bad-faith demands meant to coerce patent payments from businesses face one of their first big legal tests, which could signal how far more than 30 states can go in enforcing them.
Fortress-funded VLSI Technology fighting to defend $2.175 billion jury verdict over semiconductor patents: post-trial motions
The two VLSI Technology v. Intel patent infringement cases that have been put before juries in the Western District of Texas this year have had two extreme outcomes: after a record verdict over $2.175 billion in March that shocked the technology industry, two other VLSI patents were found not to be infringed in April. A third trial between the two entities is coming up soon.
ANALYSIS: Patent Law’s Lone Star Continues to Shine—In the West
The Western District of Texas continues to beat out Delaware for the most patent cases filed, but will that trend continue? At least for the immediate future it does not appear that recent Federal Circuit admonishments will slow things down.
Intel Wins Trial Over Chips, Dodging $1 Billion-Plus Blow
Intel Corp. ducked getting hit with another multibillion-dollar damage award after a federal jury in Texas cleared it of claims it was infringing patents formerly owned by NXP Semiconductors NV on ways to speed up computers. Intel doesn’t infringe two patents owned by closely held VLSI Technology LLC, according to the federal jury in Waco, Texas. The trial was held in the same courthouse where a different jury toldIntel to pay VLSI $2.18 billion over other patents last month.
Intel said in a statement that it was pleased the jury “rejected VLSI’s meritless claims that Intel’s cutting-edge processors infringe expired patents on MP3 player technology.”
Intel Escapes Second VLSI Trial With Zero Damages
Intel Corp. won a defense verdict of non-infringement Wednesday in its second trial with Fortress Investment Group-backed VLSI Technology LLC. VLSI had won a $2.175 billion verdict in the parties’ first trial in February, and was seeking $3 billion this time around.
It’s the second defense verdict in a row and three out of four before U.S. District Judge Alan Albright, who presides over the busiest patent infringement docket in the country in Waco.
Intel Beats VLSI’s Bid For $3B In 2nd Chip Trial – Law360
Intel was cleared of liability Wednesday in a closely watched infringement trial when a Texas jury rejected patent holder VLSI’s claim for $3 billion, evening the score in a series of chip technology disputes between the two companies.
Locked in the middle of a multipatent fight in Texas federal court, the two met for the second of threeplanned trials over Intel chip properties that VLSI says lifted directly from two patents on technologyinvented around the year 2000 by engineers at a company called SigmaTel. They are U.S. PatentNumber 6,633,187, which covers “waking up” chip cores very quickly from power-saving idle states,and U.S. Patent Number 6,366,522, which covers regulating power draw while the cores are awake.
Intel doesn’t infringe VLSI patents-in-suit: jury verdict in second VLSI v. Intel case (Western District of Texas)
Reuters reports –as do other media–that a jury in Waco (Western District of Texas) has found for Intel. According to the verdict, which I haven’t found on the electronic docket yet, the semiconductor company infringes neither of the two patents asserted by VLSI Technology, a non-practicing entity funded by Fortress Investment.
Intel beats VLSI in $3.1bn Texas suit
In the second trial of three, Intel punches back at VLSI after a $2.18 billion verdict from the same court in March
Semiconductor giant Intel wins patent infringement trial
A federal jury in Texas has cleared Intel of claims it was infringing two patents, formerly owned by Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors, on ways to speed up computers.
JURY HITS BACK AGAINST PATENT TROLLS
REJECTS MISLEADING CLAIMS & LEGAL HARASSMENT
Real Innovators, Job Creators Hit by Lawsuit in Waco
WACO, TX (April 21, 2021) –VLSI, a front created by a multibillion-dollar hedge fund to file harassing patent lawsuits seeking huge damages, today was rebuked by a jury verdict in the second of three trials challenging one of the nation’s most important innovators and job creators, Intel. The jury said Intel did not infringe any of the multiple patents asserted by VLSI.
“Harassing lawsuits like this one – and they are filed by the hundreds – stifle innovation and economic growth,” said Josh Landau, patent counsel for the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). “This jury rightfully recognized the meritless claims VLSI brought in this lawsuit.” CCIA sponsors Expose Patent Trolls.
VLSI is a shell company, one of many funded and created by Fortress Investment Group. Fortress is a multibillion-dollar hedge fund owned by Softbank, the 66th largest company in the world and the 5th largest in Japan. The purpose of these shell companies is to file meritless litigation seeking hundreds of millions, even billions, in damages for the use of technology that their victims actually created. These lawsuits target Texan and American job creators and innovators. VLSI, founded just four years ago, has no products and its main revenue stream comes from lawsuits. In the case decided today, the jury rejected VLSI’s claims and its request for $2 billion+ in damages.
“These shell companies go out and buy up patents to use against real innovators. They don’t create anything; they don’t make anything. Instead, they accuse actual innovators of patent infringement, seeking billions in damages, even though the innovators were the ones who came up with their own technology,” said Landau.
One study found that these lawsuits are associated with half a trillion dollars of losses to companies targeted from 1990 through 2010. In the last four years of that period, losses averaged more than $80 billion each year, destroying incentives to innovate. A 2014 study found that firms forced to pay patent trolls reduce their spending on R&D, on average by $211 million.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been and are still being filed by VLSI and similar front companies. In a case earlier this year, VLSI was awarded $2.18 billion in damages against Intel. Intel has said it will appeal that decision.
“Patent trolls pick courts to file in where they think they’ll have an advantage. Once Judge Albright took the bench in Waco, lawsuits there rose 40,000%. And 85% of those lawsuits are coming from trolls. They see a court in Waco that enables their success,” said Landau, noting the $2.18 billion in damages set in the first VLSI v. Intel case. A third trial is ahead.
“We’ve got to expose these patent trolls, their meritless patent claims, and the hedge funds that created and fund them. If we don’t, the real high-tech innovators and job creators in Texas and across America – and ultimately, the people who benefit from their products – will pay the price,” said Landau.
For Immediate Release
APRIL 21, 2021
Click for downloadable PDF
Waco’s New Judge Primes District For Patent Growth – Law360
A former Bracewell LLP patent litigator who recently took the federal bench in Waco, Texas, has caused a major stir for the state’s intellectual property bar, with some firms betting the new judge could grow the Western District of Texas into a patent hotbed that could rival the state’s Eastern District.
Waco becoming hotbed for intellectual property cases with new federal judge
U.S. District Judge Alan Albright and attorneys who predicted last year that Waco’s federal court would become a hotbed of patent and intellectual property litigation missed their prediction just a bit.
Unified’s Patent Quality Initiative (PQI) Releases Economic Report Showing the AIA led to over 13,000 jobs and grew the U.S. economy by $3 billion since 2014 — Unified Patents
The Perryman Group found the PTAB has grown the U.S. economy, saved U.S. manufacturing jobs, and reduced litigation costs Innovation is a key factor in U.S. economic growth and competitiveness—one balanced by transaction costs and freedom-to-operate.
The Evidence Is In: Patent Trolls Do Hurt Innovation
Over the last two years, much has been written about patent trolls, firms that make their money asserting patents against other companies, but do not make a useful product of their own. Both the White House and Congressional leaders have called for patent reform to fix the underlying problems that give rise to patent troll lawsuits.
TracFone: Mandamus All Over Again
In re TracFone (Fed. Cir. 2021) Here is a recap of where we are with this W.D. Tex. venue case venue case before Judge Albright…
In re: TracFone Wireless, Inc., Docket No. 21-00136 (Fed. Cir. Mar 23, 2021), Court Docket
We agree with TracFone that the court’s conclusion was clearly flawed. and TracFone’s petition for a writ of mandamus is granted. The March 11, 2021 order is vacated, and the district court is directed to grant TracFone’s motion to the extent that the case is transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida under § 1404(a).
VLSI Technology v. Intel: patents from a portfolio valued at $7 million allegedly created $3 billion in value–will the jury buy that?
Another post, another dispute involving a non-practicing entity (NPE) financed by Fortress Investment. The previous post was about a couple of additional VoiceAge EVS v. Apple cases I just learned about. While Munich is the world’s #1 patent injunction venue, at least for the tech sector, the Western District of Texas is where parties go to seek Texas-size damage awards, such as in the second VLSI Technology v. Intel trial in Waco before Judge Alan Albright.
Patent Loving Judge Keeps Pissing Off Patent Appeals Court, But Doesn’t Seem To Care Very Much
You may recall last fall we had an absolutely astounding story about Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator, who was appointed as the only judge in the federal district court in Waco. He very, very quickly made it clear that he wanted all patent cases to come to him…
The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls
Do nonpracticing entities benefit society by facilitating markets for technology?
Roadblock to Innovation: The Role of Patent Litigation in Corporate R&D
I examine how patent enforcement affects corporate R&D, exploiting the legal changes induced by the Supreme Court decision “eBay v. MercExchange.” This ruling increased courts’ flexibility in remedying patent cases, and effectively lowered the potential costs of patent litigation for defendants.
Intel Faces Another Waco Jury on Heels of $2 Billion Patent Loss
VLSI Technology LLC and Intel Corp. have returned to a federal courtroom in Waco, Texas, for a second patent trial, where VLSI hopes to build off a $2 billion win just weeks ago.
Texas regains title as capital of patent litigation
Texas is again the place to file patent infringement lawsuits in the U.S.
Businesses and individuals filed 747 patent complaints in Texas during the first six months of 2020 — double the number from a year earlier and twice as many as any other state so far this year.
Frivolous Patent Litigation Threatens The Technology Revolution
Frivolous litigation that uses the court system as a negotiation tactic threatens to diminish the benefits from deploying 5G technologies. Congress can help alleviate this problem by reforming ITC processes, limiting its scope, and increasing the costs for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
A Push to End Germany’s Status as ‘Paradise for Patent Trolls’
A coalition of German blue-chip firms and foreign multinationals is pushing legislation that would make Germany’s court system less of a magnet for global patent litigation.
Is Patent Enforcement Efficient?
Traditional justifications for patents are all based on direct or indirect
contribution to the creation of new products. Patents serve the social interest if they provide not just invention, but innovation the world would not otherwise have.