Clean Energy Management (Dominion Harbor) patent challenged as likely invalid

On December 28, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,035,479 owned by well-known NPE Dominion Harbor subsidiary Clean Energy Management.  The ‘479 patent, directed to a mesh network door lock, has been asserted against over 15 companies including Crestron, Cisco Systems, and Lowe's

View Clean Energy Management's district court litigation.  To read the petition and view the entire case proceeding, see our PTAB Portal.

Recursive Web Techs. (formerly Spider Search Analytics) patent challenged as likely invalid

On December 29, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,454,430 owned by Recursive Web Technologies and formerly asserted by Spider Search Analytics (owned by well-known NPE Bradley Liddle).  The ‘430 patent, directed to techniques for indexing static and dynamic websites, has been asserted against over 20 companies including Discover, PayPal, Staples, and The Home Depot

View Spider Search's district court litigation.  To read the petition and view the entire case proceeding, see our PTAB Portal.

Unified’s December Filings Set Two PTAB Records

In the final month of 2018, Unified filed an unprecedented 23 new inter partes review challenges — each of which challenges a different NPE-controlled patent — setting a new record for the most petitions filed by a company in a single month against NPEs since the PTAB’s inception. Simultaneously, Unified set the record for most unique patent challenges against NPEs filed on a single day (12) on December 31.

These challenges were spread out against an assortment of patents owned and asserted by well-known NPEs such as Dominion HarborUnilocSisvelIP Valuation PartnersQuarterHill, and Brad Liddle, among others. 

Details about Unified’s cases and all PTAB filings are available for free on Unified’s Portal.

2018 Patent Dispute Report: Year in Review


Patent litigation in 2018 decreased by 5% overall compared to 2017 due to a drop in the number of new filings at both the district court and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). However, this decrease is proportionally smaller compared to previous years which may indicate that the volume of new patent disputes is leveling out. Despite the general downward trend in 2018, the number of patent disputes involving Medical companies increased for the first time since 2015.



Figure 1: More than 5,100 new patent disputes were filed in 2018, about a 5% decrease in district court and PTAB filings compared to 2017. View all District Court and PTAB litigation on our Portal.

Figure 2: The number of new patent disputes has remained steady since Q3 2017.

Figure 3: In 2018, the PTAB was the most common venue for patent disputes overall, having received more new patent disputes than the top three district courts combined.

Figure 4: At the PTAB and District Court, High-Tech disputes continue to dominate. View High Tech litigation on Unified’s Portal.

District Court

Figure 5: NPEs initiated about 55% (1,871 cases) of all 2018 District Court litigation.

Figure 6: Q4 2018 litigation was similar to Q3 2018 and Q4 2017 numbers. View all 2018 District court litigation in Unified’s Portal.

Figure 7: High-Tech companies were most frequent District Court defendants. View this data in Unified’s Portal.

Figure 8: More than 90% of all NPE District Court litigation targeted High-Tech. Conversely, High-Tech companies were involved in less than 15% of all other (non-NPE) litigation.

Figure 9: Nearly 60% of High Tech litigation is attributed to Patent Assertion Entities (i.e., entities that purchase patents for the primary purpose of monetization). Lawsuits by NPEs operated by an individual were the second largest source of High Tech litigation, accounting for over 25% of new High Tech patent cases in 2018.

PTAB Disputes

Figure 10: The PTAB received over 1,700 new petitions in 2018.  Detailed records for each of these cases is available on Unified’s Public Portal, along with various in-depth filtering and analytical tools.

Figure 11: The number of new petitions filed remained steady throughout 2018 with an average of 430 new petitions each quarter. View all 2018 PTAB disputes on Unified’s Portal.

Figure 12: Approximately 63% of PTAB petitions filed in 2018 challenged patents asserted against High Tech companies. View High Tech PTAB disputes on Unified’s Portal.

Figure 13: About 60% of High Tech patents challenged at PTAB were owned by NPEs. View an interactive version of this data on Unified’s Portal.

Figure 14: Inter partes reviews (IPRs) continue to dominate all PTAB proceedings.

Figure 15: Apple and Samsung were the first and second most frequent IPR filers in 2018, respectively. Unified Patents was the 5th most frequent Petitioner in 2018. Visit the Portal to view all of Unified’s 2018 petitions.

Figure 16: For 2018, 9 out of the 10 most-challenged Patent Owners at PTAB were NPEs. Most of these NPEs are well-known Patent Assertion Entities. View more details on Unified’s Portal.

SecureWave Storage Solutions patent challenged as likely invalid

On December 28, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,036,020 owned and asserted by SecureWave Storage Solutions, Inc., an affiliate of Quarterhill Inc. (f/k/a Wi-LAN Inc.), a well-known NPE.  The ‘020 patent, directed to securing areas of a memory device to limit access to stored data, has been asserted against Kingston Technology Corporation and Micron Technology

View SecureWave’s district court litigation here.  To read the petition and view the entire case proceeding, see our PTAB Portal.