MobileMedia Ideas Case against RIM, HTC & Apple Shifts toward Patent Office

Scott Daniels | April 25, 2011

MobileMedia’s infringement cases against RIM, HTC and Apple present a number of interesting points.  The first is MobileMedia itself – it is a patent-holding company owned by MPEG-LA.  MobileMedia describes itself as “the patent portfolio licensor of inventions adopted by manufacturers of smart phones, mobile phones and other portable devices including personal computers, laptops, netbooks, personal media players, e-book readers, cameras and hand-held game consoles.”  It states that it owns 300 patents and lists its patents available for licensing at http://www.mobilemediaideas.com/patents.html.

Second, the various patents-in-suit did not originate with MobileMedia.  Most were assigned to it by Sony, some by Nokia, and two by Audio Highway. 

Third, and of special interest to reexamination practitioners, is that the action in the three cases seems to be slowly shifting from the courts to the reexamination at the PTO.  MobileMedia filed complaints against RIM and HTC in the Eastern District of Texas and against Apple in Delaware, all on March 31, 2010.  Starting in January 2011, the three defendant companies begin to file requests reexamination of patents-in-suit (see the attached chart showing the status of the MobileMedia patents).  So far, RIM has requested reexamination for eight of the twelve patents it is accused of infringing.  HTC and Apple have not been as aggressive, but have both filed a number of their own requests.

Both RIM and HTC have asked Judge Ward in Texas to transfer venue to the Northern District of California.  Apple’s case in Delaware is in discovery with trial scheduled for December 2012.  Should the PTO order reexamination of a substantial number of MobileMedia’s patents-in-suit, the three defendants may seek stays of their respective law suits.

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