The top market sector for NPE litigation in Q2 2023 was Consumer Electronics and PCs, accounting for 26% of new defendants added to patent litigation campaigns. E-Commerce and Software saw the second highest amount of NPE litigation in the second quarter, followed by Networking, Financial Services, and Consumer Products.
A wide variety of NPE plaintiffs hit the Consumer Electronics and PCs sector in Q2 2023—among them a number of familiar patent monetization and licensing firms. For instance, Empire IP LLC’s IoT Innovations LLC added a set of new complaints targeting home alarm and/or security systems and related products to the campaign it launched last November, asserting patents acquired from Intellectual Ventures LLC (IV). IV itself also joined the fray in April via subsidiaries Intellectual Ventures I LLC and Intellectual Ventures II LLC, filing a fresh group of cases to a campaign it has waged since late 2011—here suing makers of a wide array of devices, ranging from access points to smartphones that include certain processors and memory and that support various Wi-Fi networking standards. Another firm targeting Wi-Fi products was Acacia Research Corporation, which in May further expanded the campaign in which subsidiary Atlas Global Technologies LLC has been asserting patents from its Wi-Fi 6 portfolio, this time training those patents on laptops and desktops supporting that standard. Meanwhile, Longitude Licensing Limited—a subsidiary of patent advisory firm IPValue Management (d/b/a IPValue), itself held by Vector Capital Corporation—brought more litigation hitting this sector throughout the quarter, targeting a variety of devices incorporating liquid crystal display (LCD) devices, panels, and/or modules in June and certain smartphone image processing tools in April. SmartWatch Mobileconcepts LLC, an NPE affiliated with monetization firm Dynamic IP Deals (d/b/a DynaIP), filed a second round of cases in May, targeting smartwatches with biometric authentication, in the campaign it started last June. Additionally, computing products that include hard disk drives, solid-state hybrid drives, and dual-drive hybrid systems were at issue in complaints filed in April and May by Elite Gaming Tech, LLC, an entity linked to Alpha Alpha Intellectual Partners LLC.
A variety of other interrelated NPEs also filed litigation in this space last quarter—including two plaintiffs apparently associated with a familiar figure in patent monetization, a former inventor who in recent years has shifted to the assertion of patents acquired from others. Most recently, Multimodal LLC kicked off a new campaign in June (see here and here), targeting the provision of smart locks equipped with fingerprint sensors; while the other, Gametronics LLC, initiated its own campaign earlier in the month, training its sights on gaming controllers with joysticks. Also starting its first campaign was Wildcat Licensing LLC, which started the third litigation campaign that has been linked to another familiar individual, an Illinois attorney, in June, focusing on drones with features related to obstacle avoidance, waypoint navigation, and/or orthophoto (geographical photo) capture. Moreover, Freedom Patents LLC—a plaintiff linked to a growing web of other NPEs controlled by a Texas patent attorney—initiated a campaign in April over MIMO Wi-Fi technology, adding more suits in May.
The second quarter also saw NPEs hit the Consumer Electronics and PCs sector with the backing of third-party funders. Among those plaintiffs were Polaris PowerLED Technologies, LLC, which began a third campaign in May with the disclosed backing of a prominent litigation funder. Moreover, CogniPower, LLC, which expanded its campaign over power adapters and chargers in April, has filed disclosures indicating that it has received funding from another notable litigation finance firm—one that has recently launched a campaign of its own through a subsidiary (filing as coplaintiff along with the asserted patents’ licensee).
RPX members can also access an overview here that covers other Q2 NPE litigation with third-party backing, including campaigns outside this sector. More on other trends impacting patent litigation in Q2 and the first half of the year can also be found in RPX’s second-quarter review.