Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Conversant joins fellow Avanci contributors Nokia and Sharp in suing Daimler, asserting former Nokia patent in Munich

The automotive patent wars keep escalating. Conversant Wireless Licensing, a wildly unsuccessful (see 1 and 2) privateer that owns a portfolio of patents it received from Nokia, has become the third and latest--but possibly not even the last--contributor to the Avanci IoT patent pool to sue car maker Daimler for patent infringement.

A filing made today by Continental, one of Daimler's suppliers of telematics control units, in the Continental v. Avanci et al. FRAND/antitrust case in the Northern District of California (Judge: Lucy H. Koh), reveals that Conversant filed a patent infringement complaint against Daimler with the Munich I Regional Court over EP2934050 on an "apparatus and method for providing a connection" on August 13, 2019. The original complaint merely seeks an accounting of Daimler's sales of infringing products, but Conversant could add a request for injunctive relief anytime (the patent is set to expire in early 2021).

Conversant is represented in the German proceedings agaist Daimler by lawyers from the Dusseldorf office of the EIP firm, which is also known to represent Conversant against Huawei.

The complaint makes it clear upfront that referral to alternative dispute resolution is considered pointless. Interestingly, Conversant does not point to any direct licensing offer to Daimler, but notes that Daimler still hasn't accepted Avanci's pool licensing terms.

All in all, at least 16 (or more, should some have been filed but not yet served, which German courts do only after a bond is posted or deposit made) German patent infringement cases against Daimler have been brought so far by Avanci members: ten by Nokia (at least five of which will go to trial between December and May), five by Sharp, and now one by Conversant. Avanci has no mercy on Mercedes.

Continental has attached Conversant's complaint to a declaration in support of a motion for a temporary restraining order today. I'll blog about that TRO motion, which involves an anti-anti-antisuit provision, right after this post. But in closing let me show you Conversant's complaint:

19-08-13 Conversant v. Daim... by Florian Mueller on Scribd

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