A company which has allegedly been warned that one of its Web functions violates the patents owned by Lodsys, LLC has filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that the Lodsys patent claims are invalid or that the plaintiff has not infringed the patents. DriveTime Auto. Group v. Lodsys, LLC, No. n/a (U.S. Dist. Ct., D. Ariz., filed June 30, 2011).

According to DriveTime’s complaint, Lodsys is a company that buys patents without any intention of manufacturing products covered by the patents. Characterizing the defendant as a “patent troll,” DriveTime asserts that Lodsys acquired rights to the patents intending to “generate revenue from litigation and the threat of litigation alone.” Lodsys has already allegedly filed a number of patent infringement actions against others including some that have developed iPhone® applications, and a number of defendants have brought declaratory judgment actions similar to DriveTime’s against the company.  

DriveTime asserts that it received a demand from Lodsys on June 21, 2011, alleging that DriveTime was infringing Lodsys patents and seeking to negotiate a non-litigation licensing arrangement, while reserving its rights to take legal action against DriveTime. According to the complaint, the technology at issue is DriveTime’s Web Chat Functionality.