11.09.18

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Unified Patents Takes Aim at Velos Media SEPs, Passed From Patent Aggressor Qualcomm

Posted in America, Patents at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest endeavour from Unified Patents takes aim at notorious standard-essential patents (SEPs), which are not compatible with Free/Open Source software and are typically invalid as per 35 U.S.C. § 101 as well

IN THE previous post we noted that PTAB, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, could invalidate a lot of patents only to be reaffirmed (the invalidation) by the Federal Circuit because these patents had been granted in error (citing Alice/SCOTUS). We also noted that there had been attempts to disenfranchise Unified Patents (and RPX), denying them access to IPRs. We’ll say more about that in the weekend (other patterns try to deal with whether a government is a person and whether patents can enjoy sovereign immunity). Put simply, when Unified Patents serves some common or communal interest (collective action) there are those trying to assert that it isn’t legally entitled or eligible to do so. They’re afraid of Unified Patents.

The subject of standard-essential patents (SEPs) has meanwhile surfaced again; now that the MPEG cartel is trying to assemble a pool of patents on life we’re seeing Unified Patents’ ongoing effort to eliminate underlying patents in the HEVC / H.265 standard. As they put it yesterday:

On November 7, 2018, Unified filed a petition (with Wilmer Hale serving as lead counsel) for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,338,449, owned by Velos Media, LLC (Velos) as part of Unified’s ongoing effort to eliminate unsubstantiated assertions of allegedly standard-essential patents (www.unifiedpatents.com/sep).

The ‘449 patent and its corresponding extended patent family is the third-largest known to be owned by Velos and represents approximately 5.9% of Velos’s total known assets. Velos claims to have and seeks to license patents allegedly essential to the HEVC / H.265 standard. The ’449 patent, originally assigned to Qualcomm, was transferred to Velos Media in 2017. After conducting an independent analysis, Unified has determined that the ‘449 patent is likely unpatentable.

We previously wrote about HEVC patents [1, 2] and Qualcomm in relation to its dispute with Apple. The latter is covered more typically in our daily links (Qualcomm’s affairs were also covered here in past posts). The USPTO-granted patents of MPEG-LA are a ‘case study’ regarding what’s wrong with SEPs. If Unified Patents can shatter these, then we wholeheartedly support Unified Patents.

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