Monday, April 21, 2014

Court Dismisses ZTE, Pragmatus Case over Tracking System

Case Filed: Oct 10, 2013

Case Closed: Apr 16, 2014

Court: Delaware District Court

Judge: Leonard P. Stark

Case Summary:

Pragmatus, a licensing company based in Alexandria, Virginia, asserted two US patents on mobile devices that can be tracked by GPS signals. The case was filed against Chinese phone maker ZTE Corporation. The patents in the suit included US8149124 and US8466795 both reading ‘Personal security and tracking system’ issued duly by USPTO on Apr 12, 2012 and Jun 18, 2013, respectively. The patents are set to expire[i] by Jan 21, 2017 and are currently assigned[ii] to Pragmatus (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

The '124 patent describes a method for tracking a mobile device through GPS signals, while the '795 patent discloses a cellular device used in housing components including a speaker, microphone or battery.

The complaint stated that ZTE directly infringed the patents by making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or practicing the inventions covered by the claims of the '124 and ‘795 patents by providing the ZTE Z992 smartphone and indirectly infringed by encouraging or aiding third parties (e.g., ZTE' s users) to use the ZTE Z992 smartphone in a way that infringes the '124 and ‘795 patents.

According to the complaint, Pragmatus had provided ZTE, a written notice of infringement prior to the filing of this suit, thus stating the infringement was willful. Pragmatus demanded damages adequate to compensate Pragmatus for ZTE’s infringement including prejudgment and post-judgment interest, costs, disbursements and enhanced damages, as a result of willful infringement.

The proceeding came to end when defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case for lack of standing. The court agreed to grant the motion as the plaintiff did not file an opposition. The court, thereby ordered the case dismissed without prejudice.

See 1:13-cv-01684 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] 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
[ii] 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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