Sportbrain Holdings LLC (“Sportbrain”) is a company that was previously engaged in the business of selling fitness trackers. Sportbrain recently sued eight smartwatch manufacturers for alleged infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 7,454,002 (“the ’002 patent”), which describes a method of capturing and analyzing personal data of a user and providing feedback to the user based on the analysis. FIGS. 1B and 3 of the ’002 patent are reproduced below. These defendants included Jawbone, Frédérique Constant, Apple, Michael Kors, HP, BLOCKS Wearables, Razer, and New Balance. The complaint in each case identified a smartwatch or fitness tracker (having an accelerometer, motion sensor, pedometer, calorie counter, and/or gyroscope) and its companion app as the accused product.

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A day after Sportbrain filed its most recent lawsuit, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granted a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of the ’002 patent. The IPR petition had been filed on July 22, 2016 by Unified Patents. According to its website, Unified Patents is a member-based organization seeking to deter non-practicing entity activity in specific technology areas. Unified Patents argued in its petition that the claims of the ’002 patent were obvious over four different combinations of prior art references.

In instituting the IPR proceeding, the PTAB concluded that the petitioner’s evidence established a reasonable likelihood that the combinations of prior art references would render all of the claims of the ’002 patent obvious.

The ’002 patent is now the subject of over 40 active cases brought by Sportbrain.