LOS ALTOS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unified Patents Inc., which deters non-practicing entity (NPE) or patent “troll” litigation, announced today that it has secured memberships from more than 40 companies in the Content Delivery field to deter abusive patent enforcement. Unified has already taken action on behalf of Content Delivery by filing two Inter-Partes Reviews (IPRs) intended to notify NPEs that the assertion of bad patents in Content Delivery will not be tolerated.
On July 30th Unified filed an IPR petition against a patent held by Broadband iTV and on August 5 it filed one against a patent held by Dragon Intellectual Property, both NPEs.
“NPEs continue to impose a major operational cost on the Content Delivery industry,” said Kevin Jakel, CEO of Unified Patents. “Unified is delighted to announce that we have secured subscriptions from a large group of leading broadband, cable and entertainment industry companies. The message is clear: NPEs and others engaged in abusive patent litigation should avoid Content Delivery and other technology areas covered by Unified.”
Content Delivery technologies protected by Unified include content production, distribution, storage/management, personalization (and Ad systems), end-point distribution, consumption, and security. This definition is intended to cover the delivery and consumption of content on everything from traditional TVs to mobile phones. Subscribers to Unified’s Content Delivery Zone include companies ranging from startups to some of the largest companies in the country.
Content Delivery is the second major area of technology defended by Unified, which previously launched a Zone in the Cloud Storage area with approximately 20 members. This brings total subscribers in Unified Patents to over 60 members. Additional Zones in various stages of development include Electronic Payments and Wireless.
Unified Patents filed an IPR petition on August 5th challenging claims 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 13 and 14 of Dragon’s patent, U.S. Pat. No. 5,930,444. The patent has been asserted by Dragon against ten companies to date. In the case of Broadband iTV, it asserted U.S. Patent No. 7,631,336 against four companies. Unified’s July 30th IPR petition against Broadband iTV challenged claims are 1-4 and 7-11.
Unified uses proprietary monitoring, market intelligence, and analysis to deliver a host of risk mitigation services to its members, including monitoring and deterring NPEs active in the Content Delivery space. If Unified identifies a threatening NPE, it draws upon its network of experts, prior art search firms, and attorneys to independently evaluate the validity of the NPE’s patents. In the event that Unified identifies an invalid patent being asserted against Content Delivery technologies, Unified may independently decide to petition the USPTO to invalidate the patent.
NPE led litigation continues to be increasing. In the first 6 months of 2014, 87% of all High Tech litigation was initiated by NPEs or “trolls.” Historically, when patents in litigation are challenged at the USPTO over 60% have been found to be invalid and almost 90% had at least one claim invalidated. Despite these statistics, most NPE patent cases settle because of the high cost of litigation, which results in NPEs achieving a positive cash return, in some cases on patents that should never have been issued. Unfortunately, some solutions to the NPE problem actually incentivize future litigation by enabling NPEs to be profitable.
Unified Patents was formed on the belief that the best way to reduce rampant NPE litigation is by discouraging current and future NPEs from asserting invalid patents. Unified is unique from other solutions because it never pays NPEs, allows startups to join for free, and through its activities deters future NPE activity in strategic technologies (or industries) it calls ‘Zones’.
Unified’s systematic approach to the problem of NPE activity does not provide NPEs with revenue streams, thereby deterring future activity in protected technology Zones. Other Zones in the process of being launched by Unified include Electronic Payments and Wireless.
About Unified Patents
Unified patents was founded in 2012 by Kevin Jakel, formerly Head of IP Litigation at Intuit and Brian Hinman, now Chief Intellectual Property Officer of Royal Philips, to provide operating companies an alternative resource to curb abusive patent litigation. Unified Patents addresses the risk and cost of NPE litigation by strategically protecting areas of technology, such as Cloud Storage and Content Delivery. Unified’s unique solution draws on the overlap between large companies, SMEs and startups to proactively deter NPE activity. For more information about Unified or about becoming a member of one or more of its Zones, visit www.unifiedpatents.com.