Earlier this week Uniloc Corporation filed a number of lawsuits at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas – Marshall Division – against six world-renowned smartphone manufacturers including HTC America, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Kyocera America, Huawei, and ZTE. According to reports, Uniloc claims that all six companies have infringed on a number of patents it owns, in regards to voice instant messaging technologies (images below).
Reportedly, Uniloc Corporation claims that the aforementioned smartphone manufacturers have infringed on its US-based patent numbers “7,535,890”, “8,199,747”, “8,724,622” and “8,995,433”, all of which are described in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database as “system and method for instant VoIP messaging”. Now, assuming that Uniloc does ring a bell and the name sounds familiar, that is because Uniloc Corporation has previously reached the headlines for the same, or similar reasons, i.e. the company is known for holding numerous patents and for suing countless small and large companies, as well as developers for patent infringement. In fact, earlier this summer Uniloc filed a lawsuit against Apple for the same reasons as they are now suing the six aforementioned Android smartphone makers, and called patent infringement on the exact same patent numbers mentioned above. Throughout the years, Uniloc Corporation sued countless companies for patent infringement, including Microsoft, Activision, McAfee, Sony America, Borland Software, and even software developers including Mojang, Electronic Arts, Gameloft, and Square Enix. In fact, as of 2010, Uniloc had filed lawsuits against 73 companies for patent infringement, and this led the media to label Uniloc Corporation as a “patent troll” company, which is a term to describe a company whose activities lie in claiming patent infringement beyond the patent’s actual value or contribution, in an attempt to make a profit.
As yet, there are no other details regarding the lawsuits at hand so it remains to be seen how the story will develop further, or whether or not Uniloc has any solid ground for its claims. Either way, it’s interesting to note that some of Uniloc’s patent lawsuits throughout the years have been ruled out by the court, while others have been settled outside of court.