Monday, August 19, 2013

Positive Technologies, Sony et al. End LCD Patent Suit

Case Filed: May 09, 2011

Case Closed: Aug 13, 2013

Judge: Susan Illston

Court: California Northern District Court

Case Summary:
Positive Technologies filed infringement action against a number of defendants who manufacture, market, and sell several types of consumer electronics including laptop, desktop computers incorporating LCD. Positive Technologies named Sony, Apple, HP, Acer, Gateway, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Viewsonic and Kobo as defendants. The patents involved in the suit are:

  • US5444457 issued on Aug 22, 1995 and expired* by Aug 22, 2012
  • US5627558 issued on May 06, 1997 and expires* by May 06, 2014
  • US5831588 issued on Nov 03, 1998 and expired* by May  24, 2011

All patents are entitled ‘DC integrating display driver employing pixel status memories’ and was originally issued to Robert Hotto, founder of Positive Technologies. He holds more than 30 patents and several pending patent applications for technologies such as firearms, batteries and hybrid automobiles, according to the complaint.  The ‘457 and ‘588 patents were last assigned and ‘558 patent is currently assigned+ to Positive Technologies (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

Plaintiff alleged that defendants infringes the  patents by manufacturing computers, laptops and e-readers incorporating LCD or electrophoretic display panel utilizing display acceleration techniques claimed in the ‘457, ‘558 and ‘588 patents. Plaintiff requested the Court to enter judgment in its favor and award money damages. 

Apple, HP and Lenovo reached settlements with Positive Technologies in the year 2011 while others remained in the suit. Acer, Gateway, Dell, Asus, MSI, Kobo, were dismissed the later year. Recently Sony, Amazon, Barnes & Noble ended their patent dispute with Positive Technologies. The terms of agreement were not disclosed. Judge approved the dismissals with prejudice, stipulating that each party bear its own costs and attorneys' fees. 

See 3:11-cv-02226 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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* Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
+ MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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