Know Your Troll: Innovative Display Technologies Targeting Any Company That Creates A Product With An LCD Screen

from the plaintiff-utilizes-neither-innovation,-displays-nor-technology dept

Innovative Technologies, LLC of Austin, Texas doesn't make any products or even have its own website. What it does have, however, is a handful of weaponized patents its parent company, Acacia, acquired from "we're not a patent troll" Rambus. It's using a handful of display-related patents to sue anyone who utilizes an integrated LCD screen. Its latest targets are cell phone distributors like Verizon, AT&T and Apple, but other lawsuits have also been filed against auto manufacturers (Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda), camera companies (Canon, Nikon) and GPS suppliers (TomTom, Garmin).

Innovative Technologies calls this address in Austin, Texas "home:"
1701 DIRECTORS BLVD STE 300
AUSTIN TX 78744-1044
The offices at Southpark One in Austin must be incredibly large, seeing as the same address also houses a number of other Acacia-owned subsidiaries, like Database Sync Solutions LLC, Brilliant Optical Solutions LLC, ChipSys Integrations LLC, Cellular Communications Equipment LLC, Media Recording Solutions LLC, Lifeshield Sciences LLC, RFID-Rx LLC, Promethean Insulation Technology LLC, and Progressive Semiconductor Solutions LLC.

Of course, when your only "employees" are outside law firms, you don't really need a big office. All you need is a business registration that will give you access to a favorable court system.

IDT is suing these companies for violating its patents on "light emitting panel assemblies." The recent case filed against Apple is actually its second. The first ended with what appeared to be a settlement agreement (and dismissed without prejudice), but that must not have panned out as IDT filed its second lawsuit against the cell phone/tablet maker two months after its original dismissal, this time asking for nearly $6 billion in "accrued royalties."

IDT currently has 34 cases in litigation. In addition to the premature dismissal above, it has already secured a licensing agreement from Garmin. But that's it. Not a very productive set of weaponized patents, but a list of current litigation obviously doesn't include anyone who agreed to pay a licensing fee as the result of lawsuit threats. This low "conversion rate" probably doesn't matter much to Acacia, the company sitting on top of a pile of patents and LLCs that exist in name only.

Tracing the patents back from IDT to Acacia to Rambus, it's immediately clear that no one along this supply chain has ever produced a product utilizing these patents, but that's not going to stop all of these entities from attempting to profit from the products of others. And yet, Acacia still claims it's a vital part of the innovation process.
According to its website, the company is an intermediary in the patent market and “facilitates efficiency and delivers monetary rewards to the patent owner.” Acacia boasts that it has generated more than $1 billion in revenue to date and has returned more than $455 million to its patent partners.

Marvin Key of Acacia says his company isn't a patent troll and claims that it's business model isn't predicated on "frivolous" lawsuits.

“The implication in almost everything you read is that there is nothing positive at all about licensing patents,” Key said. “The implication is when someone is sued, whether a small or big company, that every single one of those cases is frivolous, abusive and without merit. And that’s simply untrue."
But the legal history of the company says otherwise. Here's its current "portfolio" of holding companies, along with the number of lawsuits filed.
3D DESIGN SOLUTIONS LLC - 1
3DEGREES LLC - 0
ARG MEDICAL SOLUTIONS LLC - 0
ACCUHALE LLC - 1
ADAPTIX, INC. - 64
ADJUSTACAM LLC - 2
ADVANCED PROCESSOR TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 12
AMERICAN VEHICULAR SCIENCES LLC - 35
AUTO-DIMENSIONS LLC - 6
AUTOMATED FACILITIES MANAGEMENT CORPORATION - 13
BEVERAGE DISPENSING SOLUTIONS LLC - 3
BODY SCIENCE LLC - 17
BOLT MRI TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 1
BONUTTI SKELETAL INNOVATIONS LLC - 11
BRANDYWINE COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 138
BRILLIANT OPTICAL SOLUTIONS LLC - 11
CELL AND NETWORK SELECTION LLC - 5
CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT LLC - 12
CHALUMEAU POWER SYSTEMS LLC - 4
COMPUTER SOFTWARE PROTECTION LLC - 6
CONVERGENT MEDIA SOLUTIONS LLC - 0
DRAM MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 3
DRAM MEMTECH LLC - 0
DATA ENGINE TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 7
DATABASE SYNC SOLUTIONS LLC - 1
DYNAMIC 3D GEOSOLUTIONS LLC - 6
DYNAMIC TRANSMISSION TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 4
ENDOTACH LLC - 7
EVM SYSTEMS LLC - 2
EXPRESS CARD SYSTEMS LLC - 18
GT GAMING LLC - 0
IN-DEPTH TEST LLC - 0
INDUSTRIAL PRINT TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 2
INNOVATIVE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 37
INTERCARRIER COMMUNICATIONS LLC - 16
LABYRINTH OPTICAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 6
LAMBDA OPTICAL SOLUTIONS LLC - 1
LIFEPORT SCIENCES LLC - 6
LIFESCREEN SCIENCES LLC - 7
LIFESHIELD SCIENCES LLC - 0
LIGHT TRANSFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 5
MOBILE ENHANCEMENT SOLUTIONS LLC - 4
NAVATUNE LLC - 0
NUCLEIC ACID PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 0
O.S. SECURITY LLC - 6
ONLINE NEWS LINK LLC - 17
OPTIMUM CONTENT PROTECTION LLC - 1
PANALOGIN LLC - 0
PARKING SPACE INNOVATIONS LLC - 1
PROGRESSIVE SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS LLC - 2
PROMETHEAN INSULATION TECHNOLOGY LLC - 10
SAINT LAWRENCE COMMUNICATIONS LLC - 1
SIGNAL ENHANCEMENT TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 1
SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 15
SUPER INTERCONNECT TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 6
SUPER RESOLUTION TECHNOLOGIES LLC - 5
TAXVANTAGE LLC - 0
UNIFIED MESSAGING SOLUTIONS LLC - 116
VERTICAL ANALYTICS LLC - 1
VIDEO STREAMING SOLUTIONS LLC - 3
VIEW 360 SOLUTIONS LLC - 1
WEB TRACKING SOLUTIONS LLC - 0
WIRELESS MOBILE DEVICES, LLC - 7
63 subsidiaries. 669 lawsuits, most of which were filed between 2011-2014 and not a single one of them filed by a company that generates anything more than legal filings. Acacia's claim that these aren't "frivolous" would be more credible if they weren't filed exclusively by companies that exist only as a sheet of paper and almost solely in friendly Texas courts. The only innovations these "companies" can be linked to are efficiencies in billable hour recording.
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Filed Under: lcd screen, patent trolls, patents
Companies: acacia, apple, at&t, canon, garmin, innovative technologies, mazda, mercedes-benz, nikon, tomtom, verizon, volkswagen


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2014 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Patent selling

    A transfer should also include a merger or acquisition or maybe even if a company is spun off from a parent company and goes independent.

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