Challenge to Immersion Touchpad Patent Among the Reexamination Requests Filed Week of July 30, 2012

Scott Daniels | August 6, 2012

Immersion Corporation is currently suing HTC both in District Court in Delaware and at the U.S. ITC for infringement of six patents that claim “haptic feedback for touchpads.”  The accused products are cellular telephones and smart phones.  A third party, perhaps HTC, has now requested ex parte reexamination of one of those patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,969,288 (see ex parte Request No. (2)).  Requests for the other five patents are likely to follow.  Reexamination requests for patents of this type of technology are normally inter partes, especially with a requester such as HTC.

Patent disputes have a way of escalating dramatically if a good deal of money is involved, even where the technology is comparatively simple.  A good example is the fight going on between Brass Smith and Advanced Design Manufacturing over U.S. Patent No. 6,588,863 which claims sneeze guards.  Brass Smith sued ADM for infringement of the ‘863 patent, and two ex parte reexamination requests were subsequently filed against the patent.  Most of the ‘863 claims were rejected, so Brass Smith added 125 more.  And on Friday, an unidentified third party, presumably ADM, filed a 500 page reexamination against the original claims and the 125 new claims (see ex parte Request No. (8)).

The following inter partes requests were filed:

(1)         95/002,061 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. RE43,194 entitled SPRING LOADED AND SELF-LOCKING CABLE GRIPPING APPARATUS and owned by Feeney, Inc.  Filed July 30, 2012, by The Cable Connection and Ultra-Tec Corporation.  The ‘194 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Feeney, Inc. v. The Cable Connection, et al. (Case No. 3:12-cv-1374 (N.D. Cal.)).

(2)         95/002,062 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 8,075,469 entitled METHODS FOR ASYMMETRICAL IRRADIATION OF A BODY CAVITY and owned by SenoRX.  Filed August 1, 2012, by Hologic.  The ‘469 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled SenoRX v. Hologic (Case No. 1:12-cv-173 (D. Del.)).

(3)         95/002,063 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,035,830 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REMOTE FILING AND RECORDATION OF DOCUMENTS and owned by Image-X.  Filed August 1, 2012.

(4)         95/002,064 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,993,858 entitled BREATHABLE FOOTWEAR PIECES and owned by Crocs Inc.  Filed August 3, 2012.  The ‘858 patent has been the subject of an ITC investigation, Certain Foam Footwear, Inv. No. 337-TA-567.

(5)         95/002,065 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 8,153,399 entitled METHOD AND COMPOSITIONS FOR INACTIVATING GLUTAMINE SYNTHETASE GENE EXPRESSION and owned by Sangamo Biosciences.  Filed August 3, 2012.

(6)         95/002,066 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,875,076 entitled INTERVERTEBRAL IMPLANT and owned by Synthes.  Filed August 3, 2012, by Globus Medical.  The ‘076 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Synthes USA v. Globus Medical (Case No. 1:11-cv-652 (D. Del.))

The following ex parte requests were filed:

(1)         90/012,410 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 5,659,680 entitled PC COMPATIBLE MODULAR BASED DIAGNOSTIC SYSTEM and owned by Cian IP.  Filed July 30, 2012, by National Instruments Corporation.  The ‘680 patent is currently the subject of three infringement actions styled Cian IP v. Pickering Interfaces et al. (Case No. 3:11-cv-3354 (N.D. Tex.)); Cian IP v. Agilent Techs. (Case No. 3:11-cv-3351 (N.D. Tex.)); Cian IP v. National Instruments Corporation (Case No. 3:12-cv-365 (W.D. Tex.)).

(2)         90/012,411 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,969,288 entitled FORCE FEEDBACK SYSTEM INCLUDING MULTI-TASKING GRAPHICAL HOST ENVIRONMENT AND INTERFACE DEVICE and owned by Immersion Corporation.  Filed July 30, 2012, perhaps by HTC.   The ‘288 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Immersion Corp. v. HTC (Case No. 1:12-cv-259 (D. Del.)) and an ITC investigation Certain Mobile Electronic Devices Incorporating Haptics, Inv. No. 337-TA-834.

(3)         90/012,412 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,209,931 entitled MULTI-POINT DOOR LOCKING SYSTEM and owned by Newell Operating Co.  Filed July 31, 2012, likely by Truth Hardware.  The ‘931 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Ashland Hardware Systems v. Truth Hardware Corp., (Case No. 3:11-cv-525 (W.D.N.C.)).

(4)         90/012,413 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,512,415 entitled TELEPHONIC-INTERFACE GAME CONTROL SYSTEM and owned by General Electric Capital Corp.  Filed July 31, 2012.   The ‘415 patent is currently the subject of five infringement actions.

(5)         90/012,414 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 5,970,481 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETERMINING TAX OF A VEHICLE and owned by Vehicle IP.  Filed August 1, 2012.   The ‘481 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Vehicle IP v. Wal-Mart Stores et al. (Case No. 1:10-cv-503 (D. Del.)).

(6)         90/012,415 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. RE42,288 entitled EMERGENCY FACILITY VIDEO-CONFERENCING SYSTEM and owned by Emtel.  Filed August, 2012.  The ‘288 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Emtel v. Nuphysica Inc., et al. (Case No. 4:11-cv-3007 (S.D. Tex.)).

(7)         90/012,416 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 5,947,829 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SURFING ON ARTIFICIAL SURFACES and owned by Gunther Hausen.  Filed August 2, 2012.

(8)         90/012,417 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,588,863 entitled SNEEZE GUARDS AND METHODS FOR THEIR CONSTRUCTION AND USE and owned by Brass Smith.  Filed August 3, 2012, likely by Advanced Design Manufacturing.  The ‘863 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Brass Smith v. Advanced Design Manufacturing (Case No. 2:10-cv-4945 (C.D. Cal.)).

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