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Another New Lodsys Case - Ryonet v. Lodsys ~pj - Updated
Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 10:44 PM EDT

Well, well, what have we here? Yet another Lodsys case, a new one. Same stupid patents, same M.O., though. But here's a new element, the latest target, Ryonet, filed its complaint for declaratory judgment [PDF] in Washington State, on March 8, and here's why Ryonet thinks that's the right place:
18. Plaintiff is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that, Lodsys agents and/or employees executives have made numerous trips to the State of Washington related to the Asserted Patents, and for licensing negotiations with Washington based companies including Microsoft Corporation, Smilebox, Inc. and Photobucket Corporation (formally Photobucket, Inc.) among others, and potentially Intellectual Ventures.

19. Plaintiff is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that Lodsys has engaged in, and continues to engage in, substantial licensing and other relationship, contracts, and financing in the State of Washington and with residents of the State of Washington.

20. Plaintiff is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that Lodsys conducts business and engages in contracts and other substantive contact in the State of Washington, and by such extensive conduct, resides in the State of Washington.

Are there any hideous patent lawsuits any more where Microsoft isn't in the shadows somewhere? Ever since the SCO saga began, that's where I look first, personally. It was Microsoft which entered into a licensing arrangement with SCO if you recall, for copyrights and patents, paying millions which enabled SCO to sue the world and its dog, despite SCO having no UNIX patents or any copyrights either, as it turned out. Talk about your easy money, or your lack of due diligence, or maybe a nonchalance because it was never about copyrights or patents in the first place. So, if Microsoft turns out to be a licensee, when did it license from Lodsys, I can't help but wonder?

Here are all the filings I got for you, minus the patents, which we've seen over and over, and which you can find here:
1 - Filed & Entered: 03/08/2012
COMPLAINT for Declaratory Judgment against defendant(s) All Defendants (Receipt # 0981-2739373), filed by Ryonet Corporation. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit A-908 Patent, # (2) Exhibit B-834 Patent, # (3) Exhibit C-078 Patent, # (4) Exhibit D-565 Patent, # (5) Exhibit E -Letter, # (6) Civil Cover Sheet, # (7) Summons Lodsys, # (8) Summons Lodsys Group)(Rylander, Kurt)

2 - Filed & Entered: 03/08/2012
REPORT re [1] Complaint, AO 120 by Plaintiff Ryonet Corporation. (Rylander, Kurt)

- Filed & Entered: 03/09/2012
Add and Terminate Judges
Judge Ronald B. Leighton added. (PM)

- Filed & Entered: 03/09/2012
Corporate Disclosure Statement - Notice of Deadlines
NOTICE Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1 Plaintiff Ryonet Corporation must file a Corporate Disclosure Statement by 3/16/2012, (PM)

3 - Filed & Entered: 03/09/2012
Summons Issued electronically as to defendant Lodsys, LLC. (Attachments: # (1) Summons - Lodsys Group, LLC) Note to Filer for future reference: please go to our website to download and save the most current version of the court Summons: AO-WAWD 440 (Rev. 8/11)(PM)

4 - Filed & Entered: 03/09/2012
Report Regarding Patent & Trademark
REPORT on the filing or determination of an action. E-mailed to the US Patent Office. (Attachments: # (1) Patent Report Form completed by counsel.) (PM)

5 - Filed & Entered: 03/12/2012
ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY AND DEPOSITIONS by Judge Ronald B. Leighton. (DN)

6 - Filed & Entered: 03/12/2012
Joint Status Report Order
ORDER REGARDING INITIAL DISCLOSURES, JOINT STATUS REPORT AND EARLY SETTLEMENT Joint Status Report due by 6/11/2012, FRCP 26f Conference Deadline is 5/29/2012, Initial Disclosure Deadline is 6/4/2012, by Judge Ronald B. Leighton. (DN)

7 - Filed & Entered: 03/14/2012
NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Christopher M Huck on behalf of Defendants Lodsys Group, LLC, Lodsys, LLC. (Huck, Christopher)

8 - Filed & Entered: 03/16/2012
PRAECIPE to attach document (Notice of Appearance) by Defendants Lodsys Group, LLC, Lodsys, LLC. (Huck, Christopher)

9 - Filed & Entered: 03/16/2012
CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT Filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1.. (Attachments: # (1) Certificate of Service)(Rylander, Kurt)

The complaint also lets us know that the USPTO has begun a reexamination of two of the patents:
1. This is an action for a declaratory judgment that RYONET does not infringe any valid claim of United States Patent Nos. 5,999,908 (the "'908 patent”), 7,133,834 (the "'834 patent”), 7,222,078 (the "'078 patent”), and 7,620,565 (the "'565 patent”), and collectively hereinafter, the “Asserted Patents", and for a declaratory judgment that the claims of the Asserted Patents are invalid.

2. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has instituted reexamination proceedings related to the ‘078 patent and the ‘565 patent.

We earlier noticed some prior art, but if anyone knows of any not earlier commented on, this might be a fine time to mention it.

Here are the other Lodsys cases, if you're getting foggy. I certainly am, but I will now brush up on my recollections, because if Microsoft, not just Intellectual Ventures, turns out to be behind Lodsys in some way, I'll be on this like white on rice. As I told you last August, this patent whirlwind isn't just about patents. It could be about antitrust.

Lodsys has the following notice on their website:

NOTICE

Lodsys Group LLC hereby declares that for as long as this notice remains available to the public on this website (www.lodsys.com) and for thirty (30) days after its removal, the patent license agreement by and between Lodsys Group LLC and Idessence AG whereby Lodsys Group LLC granted to Idessence AG a nonexclusive patent license with the right to sub-license to others (each of which is a Sub-Licensee), shall be and remain in full force and effect. Furthermore, sub-licenses granted by Idessence AG during the effectiveness of the aforementioned patent license shall be directly enforceable upon Lodsys Group LLC and its successors and assigns for the releases and covenants contained within the sub-license agreement executed by a Sub-Licensee that are made in the name of Lodsys Group LLC. Also, each such Sub-Licensee shall have third party beneficiary rights to enforce the licenses granted by Lodsys Group LLC to Idessence AG to the extent and subject to the terms of the sub-license.

This Notice shall also serve as Lodsys Group LLC’s acknowledgement that as a part of the nonexclusive patent license agreement to Idessence AG, all sub-licenses granted during the time that the license to Idessence AG from Lodsys Group LLC is in full force and effect shall remain in full force and effect irrespective of any subsequent change in status of Idessence AG with respect to its license from Lodsys Group LLC, including any termination or modification or novation of the nonexclusive patent license granted to Idessence AG, whether by voluntary act or involuntarily act, for any reason including, but not limited to, an action in bankruptcy, an assignment in benefit of creditors, or any similar proceeding in any jurisdiction.

Uh oh. What is this? What cynics might call the patent troll shuffle? Idessence AG is a Swiss company, I gather, with a Bellevue, Washington office, judging from this trademark filing, filed in February, regarding the words "IP MANAGEMENT GROUP AG", a filing by Steven J. Kelley of Kelley, Donion, Gill, Huck & Goldfarb, the same Seattle, Washington firm that represents Lodsys. The plot thickens.

The classes filed for are:

International Class: 036
Class Status: Active
Intellectual property venture fund management services
Basis: 1(b)
First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

International Class: 045
Class Status: Active
Licensing of intellectual property
Basis: 1(b)
First Use Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)
First Use in Commerce Date: (DATE NOT AVAILABLE)

Just what you want to tell your mom you do for a living. "Well, Mom, I provide intellectual property venture fund management services." ... Wait. Who's the venture fund in this picture? Seriously. Who?

Lodsys Group is an entity Lodsys recently told [PDF] the Combay court that it had assigned two of its patents to, '078 and '565, the two that are in the process of being reexamined. Let me guess: the Lodsys Group has fewer assets? Lodsys says it now has over 100 licensees, but it only lists 27 of them, and Microsoft isn't on the list. But Apple isn't listed either, and we know it has a license, because it filed to intervene in the Lodsys v. Combay litigation, now called Lodsys Group v. Combay. But then again, now that two of the patents, at least, are sold to the Group persona, who is licensed by whom? Say, they're not trying to make it hard to track all this, are they? Never mind. That's what discovery is for. It all comes out in the wash eventually.

Update: A filing [PDF] on March 6 in the Combay case says that Lodsys Group also has a parent company, called Lodsys Holdings Group, LLC. It was established in Delaware on January 19th, 2012, file number 5097928. Hmm. The *parent* was just formed a month and a half ago? No wonder Google doesn't know a thing about it. Lodsys began suing in February of 2011.

Iconfactory has been dropped from the case, but a summons has issued as to Rovio. I see Baum Legal earlier noted what it believes is prior art regarding the Lodsys '565 patent, namely patent number 4,355,372, which dates back to 1980.

Also, note that there will be a hearing on Apple's Motion to Intervene in April:

NOTICE of Hearing on Motion [4] MOTION to Intervene : Motion Hearing previously set for 3/13/2012 10:00 AM is RESET for 4/4/2012 at 10:00 AM in Ctrm 106 (Marshall) before Judge Rodney Gilstrap. (bga, )
There are some sealed documents regarding this motion, so there may be portions of the hearing closed to observers, but I know a lot of you care about this case, so it might be wise to have some witnesses there for the parts that are public.

If you go, do let us know what happens. This case is in Texas, at the US District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. That means its court is in Marshall. Here's the address and phone. Do call the court before you travel out that day, to make sure it's still on and to find out what is and isn't allowed by court rules regarding phones, laptops and such.


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