Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lenovo, Fujitsu, Dell, in Litigation over Memory Access Method

Case Summary:
Wilmington-based, non-practicing entity, Micro Design filed a complaint against computer technology companies including: Lenovo, Fujitsu, Dell, NEC and ASUSTeK. The suit concerned the companies’ infringement of a U.S. patent covering communications among processors, coprocessors and memory. The cases were filed on Jun 27, 2014 in Delaware District Court.

The patent at issue is: US7437535 ‘Method and apparatus for issuing a command to store an instruction and load resultant data in a microcontroller,’ duly issued by USPTO on Oct 14, 2008 and expiring[i] by Apr 04, 2022. The patent has been through multiple assignees including: Net Navigation Systems and Clearwater Innovations. Micro Design is the current assignee[ii] of the patent (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database.) The ‘535 patent describes a method of providing single-cycle instruction (store-and-load) that stores a command to a co-processor to automatically process data and that loads resultant processed data.

As in Complaint:
Lenovo infringed the patent by designing microprocessors that contain the claimed combinations of the patented technology, including the processor, co-processor and memory accessing features. The accused products include: ThinkStation C30, D30 and S30. The complaint stated that Lenovo’s actions aid and abet others (such as their partners and customers) to infringe using the accused products by advertising and distributing the accused products.

The complaints filed against other defendants were substantially similar.  Micro Design sought damages from all the defendants and demanded a jury trial.

See 1:14-cv-00840 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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