IP Law News

Uniloc Hits Google with Two New Patent Infringement Suits (1)

Dec. 31, 2018, 4:29 PMUpdated: Dec. 31, 2018, 5:37 PM

Alphabet Inc.'s Google is infringing patents related to technology that stores photos and sends content from browsers to television sets, a patent holding company has alleged.

Uniloc Luxembourg SA filed separate lawsuits Dec. 30 asserting U.S. Patent No. 6,253,201, which involves retrieving images in a database and U.S. Patent No. 6,622,018, which involves controlling remote devices through wireless connectivity. The company filed the suits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The lawsuits are the latest in Uniloc’s 2018 patent litigation blitz against high-tech companies such as Google, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. involving scores of patents it’s purchased from other companies. Uniloc has filed 29 lawsuits against Google in 2018, according to Bloomberg Law data.

Uniloc claims Google’s Photo product infringes the ‘201 patent and its Chromecast service infringes the ‘018 patent.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a Bloomberg Law request for comment.

Venue Strategy

Uniloc, which has nearly 400 active U.S. patents, acquired the ‘201 patent, formerly owned by Koninklijke Philips N.V., from patent-holding company Pendrell Corp. in January, Bloomberg Law data show. It obtained the ‘018 patent from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., in May 2017, the data show.

Patents granted as far back as the 1990s have been part of Uniloc’s flurry of lawsuits, after the company scooped up old patents from Hewlett Packard, IBM Corp., and others. Nearly half of the 182 lawsuits Uniloc has filed in 2018 are in the East Texas court, which has a reputation for being friendly to patent holders.

Uniloc has frequently filed lawsuits in the East Texas court even after the U.S. Supreme Court held last year in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp Brands LLC that plaintiffs must file infringement lawsuits where a defendant resides or is incorporated, not just where it makes a sale.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has data servers, gathers consumer data and delivers digital content—including movies, music, apps, and advertising—in the East Texas district, Uniloc argued in its two new lawsuits.

The cases are Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Google LLC, E.D. Tex., #: 2:18-cv-00548, Complaint filed 12/30/18andUniloc 2017 LLC v. Google LLC, E.D. Tex., #: 2:18-cv-00549, Complaint filed 12/30/18.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout)

To contact the reporter on this story: Malathi Nayak in Washington at mnayak@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Baker at rbaker@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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