Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hybrid Audio LLC now also sues Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Samsung in addition to Apple, HTC, Dell (already sued in December)

After Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, there are already a couple of other developments on the Android-related patent litigation front.

For the sake of a complete record, let me mention that the ITC announced yesterday that it is investigating Microsoft's complaint against Barnes & Noble, FoxConn and Inventec. The investigation number is 337-TA-769. I will follow the process. This vote comes as little surprise. The previous smartphone-related ITC complaints I saw also resulted in formal investigations.

In December I reported on Hybrid Audio LLC's patent infringement lawsuit against HTC, Apple and Dell over U.S. Patent No. RE 40,281 on "signal processing utilizing a tree-structured array". Yesterday, Hybrid Audio LLC basically expanded its suit by naming additional defendants. In order to do so,

  • Hybrid Audio LLC filed for voluntary dismissal without prejudice of its original suit (case no. 6:10-cv-00677, Eastern District of Texas; at that point, the defendants had not yet responded to the complaint or moved to dismiss or transfer it), and

  • filed a new suit (case no. 6:11-cv-00195, same federal court) over the same patent but with a longer list of defendants and, consequently, infringement accusations.

These are the additional defendants and the products named as examples of allegedly infringing devices:

  • Motorola Mobility:
    "Xoom, Atrix, Droid 2, and Droix X"
    (all of those are Android-based)

  • Nokia (two legal entities):
    "5610 XpressMusic, 6650, 6133, 5310 XpressMusic, E7, and 6275i"

  • Research in Motion (two legal entities):
    "the BlackBerry smartphones"

  • Samsung (three legal entities):
    "R0, R1, P3, U5, S3, S5, and Q2 MP3 Players, Messager Cell Phone, JetSet Cell Phone, t249 Cell Phone, DVD Players, and Digital Photo Frames"
    (while those aren't Android-based, a settlement with Samsung would most likely also include any infringing Android-based Samsung products, and if Hybrid Audio proved infringement by Android-based devices in connection with HTC and/or Motorola, even a ruling may effectively affect Samsung's Android devices; otherwise, it would be easy for Hybrid Audio to launch a follow-on suit if necessary)

So Hybrid Audio LLC decided to take on some additional behemoths. I in my post on Hybrid Audio's original suit back in December I discussed that company's background and the patent in more detail than in this post, which is intended to be just a little update.

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