2012-2015 Litigation Activity: Internet of Things Zone

IoT Zone Update

The proliferation of connected devices has revolutionized society and driven an explosion of new products and services. Unfortunately, this growth has also led to a proliferation of Non Practicing Entity (NPE), or "patent troll" litigation. Unified Patents (Unified) is pleased to announce that the only solution that challenges and deters NPEs is now active in its Internet of Things (IoT) zone. Unified studied district court patent litigation in IoT from 2012 to 2015 as part of our launch. A complete definition for IoT can be found here.

Table 1: IoT Patent Litigation Increased 80% in the Last 4 Years.

We found the number of new NPE-filed IoT cases in 2015 reached 252, after reaching a record high of 275 in 2014.

Table 2: From 2012-15, IP Communications and Networking Protocols Represented Most IoT Litigation.

Table 3: In 2015, Most IoT litigation Involved Security Features or Networking Protocols.

The large fluctuations in subcategory litigation is partly due to the dramatic increase in NPE campaigns against many more companies which have products using these newly adopted technologies.

Table 4: NPE Campaigns in IoT Strongly Correlate with Total Cases During the Same Period.

Between 2012 and 2015, there were 28 NPE litigation campaigns. For this study, a campaign is defined as at least 3 separate filings by a non-practicing entity involving the same patent(s). The average number of separate cases per campaign was approximately 27, with a maximum of 82 cases filed by Pragmatus Telecom from 2012 to 2014 and a minimum of 3 filed by TPQ Development LLC from 2012 to 2014.

Table 5: Over 90% of IoT Cases were Part of a NPE Litigation Campaign.

The top ten most frequent litigants between 2012 and 2015 are listed below in Table 6. This information is based on the first-named parties and, as a result, may not include every case to which a plaintiff or defendant was party.

Table 6: Top NPE Litigants in the IoT Zone from 2012-2015

  1. Pragmatus Telecom (82)
  2. Penovia, LLC (72)
  3. Innovative Wireless Solutions, LLC (66)
  4. Olivistar, LLC (63)
  5. Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC (59)
  6. Wetro Lan, LLC (56)
  7. Adaptive Data, LLC (52)
  8. 911 Notify, LLC (42)
  9. UrgenSync, LLC (33)
  10. Cantelo LLC (30)


*For this study, a campaign is defined as at least 3 separate filings by a non-practicing entity involving the same patent(s).
Statistics include litigations initiated by NPEs or Declaratory Judgments (DJs) initiated by operating companies against NPEs.
Total number of reported cases can vary. Unified made its best attempt to eliminate mistaken or duplicative filings.

Unified strives to accurately identify NPEs through all available means, such as court filings, public documents, and product documentation.


Non Practicing Entity (NPE) = Company which derives the majority of its total revenue from Patent Licensing activities.
Operating Company or Op. Co. = Company which derives most of its total revenue from Product Sales or Services. Could be an SME or a large company.
NPE (Patent Assertion Entities) = Entity whose primary activity is licensing patents and acquired most of its patents from another entity
NPE (Small Company) = Entity whose original activity was providing products and services, but now is primarily focused on monetizing its own patent portfolio.
NPE (Individual) = Entity owned or controlled by an individual inventor who is primarily focused on monetizing inventions patents by that individual inventor.