Jonathan Stroud is General Counsel at Unified Patents, LLC, where he manages a growing team of talented, diverse attorneys and oversees a docket of administrative challenges, appeals, licensing, pooling, and district court work in addition to trademark, copyright, administrative, amicus, policy, marketing, and corporate matters.
Prior to Unified, he was a litigator with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, and prior to that, he was a patent examiner at the USPTO. He earned his J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law; his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University; and his M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California. He enjoys teaching, writing, and speaking on patent and administrative law.
There was a slight uptick in district court filings last week after a slow January and February, with 43 new patent filings, including a design patent battle involving tumblers and multiple filings indicating an association with high-volume plaintiffs such as Jeffrey Gross and Leigh Rothschild. It was a busy week at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), with over 32 new challenges last week, with only one procedural denial on an institution decision—but that was not based on discretionary denial, which remains often briefed but rarely successful for the time being. Of course, the big news this week was that the Federal Circuit has revived an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) challenge to the Fintiv decision on discretionary denial itself as arbitrary agency action that skirted proper procedure and had an outsized impact on a broad swath of cases.
Patent filings continue to be slightly depressed in the district courts and at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) compared to the highs of last year, with 17 new PTAB cases and 38 new district court filings. New filings consist primarily of a few apparently funded cases—a Fortress entity, for instance, sued Amazon, and a Taiwanese entity with no Internet presence has sued Apple and Samsung on wireless charging patents, with some new Jeff Gross entity filings, a slew of Dynapass filings, and some other banking campaigns picking up steam; at the Board, most of the fillings revolved around existing campaigns Robocast and Daedalus Prime, as detailed below. Ericsson continued with challenging some Phillips patents; and there’s even a funder, Element Capital, who has been hit by inter partes reviews (IPRs) after suing in their own name (via a Singapore subsidiary, against Chinese subsidiaries of other companies, including Motorola).
It was a rather light district court week for patent filings, with just 24 new cases filed last week—we are starting to see the effects of a depressed rate of filing from IP Edge in the overall numbers (link behind paywall). The week also saw an average number of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings, all inter partes reviews (IPRs). A number of IP Edge pending disputes settled last week; it looks like the Bell Semiconductor/Hilco Capital suit against seemingly the entire semiconductor industry has started to settle out, with some big names dismissing cases pursuant to settlement, including Kioxia, Nvidia, Micron, and many others—whether pursuant to a bulk license through RPX or some other mechanism is unknown, but it’s likely to be some group deal for so many parties to settle at the same general time in such a far-ranging dispute.
It was a relatively average week for patent filings, with 58 district court complaints and 19 new Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions filed—that’s a tad low—all inter partes reviews (IPRs). There were more fake meat IPRs filed against Impossible Foods by Motif Foodworks; no discretionary denials last week; lots of frequent litigants saw IPRs instituted against asserted patents this week; unknown Qualserve Solutions LLC sued Samsung on what appears to be standard-essential LTE networking functions, though it’s unclear how handsets would exactly infringe; AGIS and Verizon appear to have settled; Speir Technologies [Magentar Capital] went down the line and hit TCL (after reportedly offering a five-year RPX license to settle all Magnetar suits with their members).
It was a light week for patent filings, with 18 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and 38 district court complaints; last week saw the first Fintiv denials in months in a tranche of cases very close to trial; this week there were five more discretionary denials under Section 325(d), where the parties failed to point out any material error in earlier proceedings analyzing similar art under Advanced Bionics. And obviously, the third Fortress/VLSi trial resulting in another near-billion-dollar award splashed the headlines. The District of Delaware was busy uncovering the story behind IP Edge/Mavexar LLC and how they run and control their subsidiaries, and it’s even more interesting than I thought it was; though of course, it hasn’t stopped entities like those run by Jeffrey Gross from continuing to roll out filings. More below.
It was a return to form this week in the district courts, with 115 new patent filings (led by more than 40 new IP Edge complaints) to just 23 new Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings—the latter number being bolstered by a number of challenges to patents held by Raymond Anthony Joao subsidiary Beteiro, LLC by a conglomerate of gambling companies, including PointsBet USA, DraftKings, Inc., BetMGM, LLC, Hillside New Jersey LLC, and Entain Corporate Services Ltd. Micron filed another set of challenges against Katana Silicon Technologies patents, Ecobee challenged another Magnetar entity, Ollnova, which has brought suit on Internet of Things (IoT) related devices; and it was another week without any discretionary denials.
It was another surprisingly light week in patent filings, compared at least with recent memory—just 29 new suits and 17 new filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), all inter partes reviews (IPRs). The filings include a few challenges against patents asserted by the Fortress-funded Neo Wireless and Netlist, as well as a slew of filings by Apple against Mullin Industries, LLC. After a week’s respite there were five new IP Edge suits—not as many as usual, but still enough to represent almost a fifth of all suits filed this week.
This week saw 26 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings (all inter partes reviews [IPRs]) and just 28 new district court complaints—and notably and unusually, no new IP Edge filings. Most of the filings were related to three entities, the now-sprawling Bell Semiconductor campaign added a slew of new defendants, and Cedar Lane and Buffalo Patents, both campaigns comprised entirely of old Intellectual Ventures (IV) patents (both almost certainly transferred under IV’s late-stage low-cost time-limited backend deal structure). There was one (non-Fintiv) denial at the Board and a few IV patents were challenged directly by Honda; some pharmaceutical challenges were filed, but otherwise, it was a relatively quiet week in new filings, particularly in the district court (it’s the first week in as long as I can remember when there didn’t appear to be a single IP Edge filing, which certainly contributes to the lull).