Last year saw a rash of litigation asserting patents passed from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV) to IQ Holdings, LLC, and a recent assignment suggests that more is on the way. Also of note among mid-May patent assignments is a transfer from Panasonic to Conversant Intellectual Property Management, Inc.
IQ Holdings, LLC to Visible Connections, LLC
On May 9, IQ Holdings assigned four patents to Visible Connections, LLC: two telecommunications conferencing patents (6,628,767; 6,665,392) originating with Spiderphone; and one patent (7,284,203) generally related to an interface program for sharing an application program between two or more computers, developed by GTE Laboratories (which merged in 2000 with Bell Atlantic, forming Verizon). IQ Holdings acquired the patents in September 2017 via multiple transfers from various IV affiliates.
Visible Connections was formed in Georgia on April 24 and appears to be affiliated with IP Investments Group, LLC (d/b/a IPinvestments Group)—an Atlanta-based monetization firm controlled by Michael W. McLaughlin (who also controls IQ Holdings).
In February, RPX noted a similar transaction, this one from IV to IQ Holdings to Accelerated Memory Tech, LLC, another IPinvestments affiliate. In April, Accelerated Memory Tech filed suit against Citrix (2:18-cv-00052), asserting one of the transacted patents (6,513,062). The ‘062 patent generally relates to improving server performance; Citrix is accused of infringement through the provision of NetScaler ADC (application delivery controller).
Also, earlier this month, IPinvestments affiliate SynchView Technologies, LLC began yet another campaign asserting a patent acquired from IV—this one generally related to digital video recorders (DVRs). The NPE has sued Atlantic Broadband Finance (1:18-cv-00723), Blue Ridge Communications (1:18-cv-00724), and Channel Master (1:18-cv-00725) in the District of Delaware, as well as Grande Communications Networks (1:18-cv-00412) in the Western District of Texas. Atlantic, Blue Ridge, and Grande are alleged to infringe through the provision of DVRs and related services provided by TiVo, while Channel Master’s accused products are DVRs sold under its own brand. In the past year, other entities have asserted patents passed from IV to IQ Holdings, including Monument Patent Holdings, LLC and IP Valuation Partners LLC (d/b/a IPVal)—two of 2017’s most prolific NPE plaintiffs.
Since IV’s announcement last year that it was moving away from actively acquiring patents, it has accelerated the sale of assets from its portfolio, including in deals with Dominion Harbor Enterprises LLC; IPVal; Leigh Mr. Rothschild; and, earlier this month, Longhorn IP LLC. While the terms of IV’s agreements with privately held NPEs are not yet known, as recently reported by RPX, SEC filings indicate that IV will receive 50% of any net proceeds from Quest Patent Research Corporation’s campaign asserting a portfolio of patents received from IV.
Panasonic to Conversant Intellectual Property Management, Inc.
On April 23, Panasonic transferred 19 US patents to Conversant Intellectual Property Management; the assignment was recorded on May 10, and included foreign counterparts in China, Germany, Japan, and elsewhere.
In November 2016, Panasonic transferred a portfolio of 20 patents to Conversant. It does not appear that the 2016 transaction—which also included assets filed in China or Japan—resulted in any litigation in the US.
While Conversant has not filed any new litigation in the US since 2015, its Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.l. filed suit in 2017 against Huawei and ZTE in the UK. In April, the UK High Court of Justice rejected a jurisdictional challenge in that campaign; see RPX Insight for in-depth coverage of that decision.