Friday
Nov072014

November 7, 2014 Update

Today we are providing an interim update regarding recently received Markman orders. This update is largely in response to a variety of individual requests we have received from shareholders. We wanted to make the information widely available to all at the same time.

 

I. Apple

On November 3rd we received our claim construction order (the “Markman Order”) from Judge Chhabria in the Northern District of California that you can read here (Markman Order). Based on the procedural history of this case, Unwired Planet chose 10 representative claims from 5 patents for claim construction. Apple then selected 10 claim terms from the claims for construction by the Court.

The numerical results of the Markman Order are as follows:

  • 3 claim terms were agreed by the parties
  • 2 claim terms were adopted as proposed by Apple
  • 1 claim term was adopted as proposed by Unwired Planet
  • 3 claim terms were construed on a modified basis by Judge Chhabria (in other words, he did not adopt either party’s primary proposed construction, but modified it in some way or adopted an alternate construction offered by Apple)
  • 1 claim term was not construed

As a reader/investor/interested party, we understand that it is difficult to interpret the results of the Markman Order and its impact on our case, particularly without access to the infringement evidence and confidential technical information of Apple that we, of course, cannot provide to the public. It would certainly not be appropriate to evaluate the Markman Order as a score card and, therefore, a predictor of outcome at the upcoming trial.

As we continue to review and evaluate the technical implications of the constructions, if there is any need to modify our case we will do so, possibly substituting or dropping claims. The parties are now working on expert reports based upon the Markman Order and we intend to continue to pursue our case to trial next June.

 

II. Square

On October 3rd we received a claim construction order (the “Square Markman Order”) from Judge Jones in the District of Nevada that you can read here (Square Markman Order). Square requested construction of 16 terms across 3 patents. The Court adopted Unwired Planet’s construction on 14 terms, and adopted a modified construction on the other 2 terms. The parties are now working on expert reports based upon this Square Markman Order.

Thursday
Oct302014

October 30, 2014 Update

Today we are providing an update on activity taking place at Unwired Planet. This post incorporates our past blog entries and we recommend that you review all of them in chronological order. As before, we have divided our activities into four categories: Licensing, Technology, Portfolio/Prosecution & Enforcement. Following is an update on each area.

 

I. Licensing

We continue to interact with dozens of companies across our 3 core markets (Mobile Devices, Mobile Cloud & Services and Network Infrastructure).

The typical dominant issue remaining in most of our negotiations is divergent positions regarding royalty value and license scope. The discussions largely relate to macro factors affecting patents generally and standard essential patents in particular. These macro factors include both the “overdeclaration” problem with respect to standard essentiality and recent case law trends regarding economic factors and damage theories. At Unwired Planet, we maintain that the quality, depth and diversity of our portfolio combined with the conservative, reasonable and supported positions we are taking will ultimately justify the license pricing we are seeking. Notably, unlike software sales, we are entitled in most cases to royalties prospectively and retroactively.

To make near term progress, we are engaging at several levels: first, we are working to examine and quantify the “overdeclaration” problem (particularly with respect to LTE), second, we are supporting our licensing demands with economic analysis using reasonable methodology that is within the bounds of accepted practice (even in the current state of flux at the Federal Circuit) and third, we are marching towards litigation outcomes, which may be the ultimate proof required by licensee targets. We expect to have at least 7 trials in 2015, should they each prove necessary.

For more on the “overdeclaration” problem see this CPI Antitrust Chronicle.

 

II. Technology

The growth of the LTE market continues at a torrid pace. We do not yet have shipment numbers from the previous quarter but early reporting suggests that LTE enabled devices comprise a bigger share of total OEM shipments than ever before. As an example Huawei’s smartphone shipments grew to 16.8M, a 26% increase from the previous year, with LTE enabled smartphones comprising over 34% of their total smartphone shipments for Q3 2014 (Lanka Business Today article)

With the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald are predicting that Apple could be on the brink of another “super cycle” (moneycontrol.com article), supported by the fact that iPhone 6 models sold more than 10M units in the first weekend after their launch (eWeek article).

To increase margins, several OEMs have recently begun releasing smartphones that are incorporating increasing amounts of in-house technologies, such as modems and processors, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini (ifixit article) and the LG G3 Screen (The Korea Times article).

The baseband industry has also seen much activity since our last blog post. Intel has invested $1.5B to take a 20% minority stake in the holding company under Tsinghua Unigroup, which will own Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics (telecompaper article). We see this as a clear sign that Intel is continuing their efforts to be a key player in the baseband industry. In October, MediaTek announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC) incorporating modem needs of wireless operators globally and is to our knowledge the only Qualcomm alternative offering that supports all currently used cellular technologies (PR Newswire article). We reported in August Broadcom’s decision to wind down their baseband unit. In September Ericsson followed the same path announcing that they will shut down their modem business (Reuters article).

In Cloud & Services news, the mobile payments industry has lately gained the media spotlight with the launch of Apple Pay, which enables iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users to pay with their mobile devices (CNN article), making Apple the newest entrant into the mobile payments arena, setting them against Google and Square, who notably improved their position in October by securing $150M in a Series E funding round connected to an updated $6B valuation of the company (NextPowerUp article). Also, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a company formed by nation's largest merchants including Walmart, Sears and Best Buy, announced in September their own mobile payment solution (MCX release) which is scheduled to rollout nationally in 2015. As members of the MCX consortium, Rite Aid and CVS discontinued support of Apple Pay and other NFC-enabled systems, upsetting an Apple using, message board posting, segment of their customers (Computerworld article). We will continue to closely follow developments in this business sector given our patent strength in the area.

 

III. Portfolio/Prosecution

Below represents our current portfolio status

Overall Portfolio Prosecution Statistics -- 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2014

Number of Office Actions Received – 30
Number of Office Actions Responded – 25
Number of Search Reports Received – 2
Number of Search Opinions Responded – 2

Number of Foreign Acceptances (not yet issued) – 3
Number of US Acceptances (not yet issued) – 11
Number of EP Allowances (not yet issued) – 2

US Issued – 16
EP Issued (not including EPs in their opposition period, but including validated EP countries) – 10
EP Issued in Opposition Period – 3
Number of Foreign Issued – 5

TOTAL Granted – 34

Newly Filed Apps – 12
Abandoned – 55*
Patents Expired – 8

*We have made the strategic decision to allow certain low-value patent assets to go abandoned.

TOTAL Portfolio

Total Issued Patents = 2239
Total Pending Applications = 220

Total Portfolio Count: 2503

Post Grant Proceedings Summary

Pending Inter Partes Reexams – 1
Pending Broadening Reissues – 5 (1 is “Allowed” and will publish soon)
Pending Self-Initiated Reexams – 1 (“Allowed” and will publish soon)
Inter Partes Review – 3 cases instituted, 2 cases petitioned for
Covered Business Method – 3 cases instituted, 1 case petitioned for
EPO Oppositions - 2 filed

We have filed responses in the three Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) and the three Covered Business Method (“CBM”) proceedings with Google, and are actively pursuing the validation of those patents. Google has filed their replies to our responses, and we are currently preparing for oral arguments in January.

Square recently filed one CBM petition and two IPR petitions against the three patents from the Nevada litigation. We continue evaluating and responding to these petitions, and plan to aggressively defend the validity of these patents.

Two Oppositions were filed related to our European litigation, and we are currently evaluating these filings.

 

IV. Enforcement

Below is a brief summary of each of our pending enforcement actions, all of which had significant developments over the past several months:

UK (Samsung, Huawei, Google)

  • A second Case Management Conference (“CMC”) was held October 8th in London -- the next will be in December.
  • At the CMCs, the Judge set five successive single patent trials, each spaced generally two months apart. The trial dates were set as follows:
    • October 5, 2015 (LTE patent #1)
    • November 30, 2015 (LTE patent #2)
    • February 1, 2016 (2G/3G patent)
    • May 2016 (3G patent)
    • July 2016 (Android push patent)
  • Samsung and Google have pressed forward with a set of competition defenses, particularly related to clauses of the Ericsson/Unwired Planet Master Sales Agreement. In a nut shell, the Defendant’s position seems to be that Ericsson is not permitted to sell standard essential patents in the first place. The December CMC is expected to cover these defenses and set a separate trial for competition and FRAND damages issues. We feel confident in our position on these issues and welcome adjudication of them. Under the UK “loser pays” system, we also intend to recover our costs for these issues.

Germany (Samsung, Huawei, Google, HTC, LG)

  • The first oral hearing occurred May 22nd in Dusseldorf.
  • The German Court set a series of trial dates, beginning June 30, 2015, with trials to follow approximately each 90 days until all material is covered. The second trial will be in November 2015.
  • As a formality, the Court split the case into 30 separate matters (6 patents multiplied by 5 defendants). However, much of the dispute will be heard at the same time.
  • The Court also staggered the substantive response pleading due dates throughout the Fall (beginning in September, ending in December). Under the German system, these pleadings (and our subsequent responses, due in Winter/Spring of 2015) are paramount to the case (there is no discovery or expert testimony in Germany).
  • Currently, HTC and Huawei are grouped together and Samsung, LG and Google are grouped together.
  • As expected (and as is common practice in the German system) some of the parties have already initiated invalidity proceedings against some of the patents.

Apple – District Court of Nevada / Northern District of California

  • Had been assigned to Judge Yvonne Rogers in Oakland, CA. Scheduling Hearing took place on January 6th.
  • To expedite matters, Judge Rogers ruled that we must move forward to claim construction with 10 patent claims (from our 70 pending claims) for the time being, but we would maintain our rights on other patents and claims. We selected 10 claims from 5 patents for this first action and the claim construction (“Markman”) hearing (for these first 10 claims) was set for May 14th. For expediency to trial on these 5 patents, the parties agreed to dismiss the other 5 patents “without prejudice” (meaning without legal effect one way or another).
  • On April 17th we were reassigned to San Francisco-based Judge Vince Chhabria, whom then moved the Markman hearing to August 11th.
  • We anticipate a Markman order will issue shortly (in fact, Judge Chhabria indicated the order would be out in October).
  • A Case Management Conference was held two weeks ago.
  • Trial has been set for June 1, 2015.

Google – District Court of Nevada

  • Google’s motion to transfer to Northern District of California was denied in August. Google sought reconsideration of the transfer decision and that was also denied.
  • Google filed 3 re-examinations (of 3 out of the 10 patents in the case) and sought a partial stay of the case (with respect to these same 3 patents). The partial stay was granted (See Prosecution section for more info).
  • We have dropped 3 patents from the case (1 in reexamination and 2 in the typical course of litigation). As a result we have 5 patents presently moving forward and 2 patents stayed pending reexamination.
  • The Markman hearing on these 5 patents took place on August 20th and 21st with a technology tutorial taking place on August 15th. We are awaiting a claim construction order.
  • Discovery is closed.
  • Our trial date remains unclear, although Summer 2015 is targeted, based upon the date of the Markman order and the Judge’s availability.

Apple/RIM – District Court of Delaware

  • Based upon Judge Andrews claim construction order, including his subsequent clarification, the parties have stipulated to noninfringement (as construed).
  • As planned, Unwired Planet has lodged its appeal with the Federal Circuit.
  • We expect the appellate process to take roughly 15 months.

Square – District Court of Nevada

  • Judge Jones has been assigned to this matter.
  • Square filed a transfer motion in December and we responded. Judge Jones denied Square’s motion, thereby keeping this case in Reno, NV.
  • The Markman hearing took place on September 22nd and a claim construction order was issued on October 3rd. We are very pleased with the results, as Judge Jones agreed with our positions on all but one claim term.
  • Square has filed 2 IPR reexaminations and 1 CBM reexamination (see Prosecution section for more detail) and requested a stay in the case. We oppose the stay and Judge Jones ruled that a stay would be premature because the USPTO has not yet instituted proceedings.
  • We expect a trial to take place sometime in 2015.

Microsoft – District Court of Delaware

  • Judge Sue Robinson has been assigned to this matter.
  • This is a breach of contract claim to recover an additional license payment that Microsoft owes to Unwired Planet.
  • The parties dispute elements of contract interpretation.
  • We expect this matter to progress relatively quickly (these matters are generally simpler than a patent infringement lawsuit).
Thursday
Aug142014

August 14, 2014 Update

Today we are providing an update on activity taking place at Unwired Planet. This post incorporates our past blog entries and we recommend that you review all of them in chronological order. As before, we have divided our activities into four categories: Licensing, Technology, Portfolio/Prosecution & Enforcement. Following is an update on each area.

 

I. Licensing

We continue to interact with dozens of companies across our 3 core markets (Mobile Devices, Mobile Cloud & Services and Network Infrastructure).

In the mobile device and infrastructure markets, as previously stated, we are seeking to close licensing deals in accordance with our standard license proposal, which we published here (FRAND License Proposal) following completion of our Lenovo transaction in April.

In many of our ongoing negotiations with mobile device manufacturers the technical phase is either completed or near completion. The primary elements of disagreement revolve around pricing and deal structure. While revenue-generating licensing deals are available to us, each such potential deal would seriously undercut and devalue Unwired Planet’s portfolio, leading to depressed long term results for our shareholders. We are therefore resisting short term considerations and continuing to push for fair value licensing. We feel we are in a good position to do so, although it may require us to make considerable progress in (and perhaps augment) our enforcement efforts.

We continue to pursue deals in the cloud and service market, which stands apart for several reasons: First, there are no declared standard essential patents related to cloud. Second, each company’s cloud strategy is unique and the licensing discussions are therefore highly customized. Last, and perhaps most significant to Unwired Planet, Google is so dominant in mobile cloud and services given the enormous market share of Android. As a result, many companies (and in some cases Unwired Planet itself) are taking a “wait and see” approach with respect to our ongoing Google litigation.

 

II. Technology

Rapid growth of the LTE market has continued strongly during the previous quarter. LG Electronics was particularly successful in the period. LG shipped a record-high 14.5 million smartphones in the second quarter, a 20 percent increase year-over-year with LTE products accounting for more than one-third of all LG smartphones sold this year. (Business Recorder article)

Amazon launched their first smartphone, Fire, in June (Amazon press release). The LTE-enabled phone is closely integrated with Amazon’s cloud services and we are very interested to see if it will gain serious market traction.

The long-awaited Microsoft and Nokia transaction was completed in April (Microsoft News Center article). Since then rumors abound regarding Microsoft’s plans. In July, Microsoft announced that they will end Nokia’s short adventure as an Android manufacturer (re/code article) of Asha feature phones. This news, together with massive layoffs of 12,500 former Nokia employees (BGR article), led some media to predict that Microsoft would cut down the low end device business. However, recent news about new products, such as Nokia 130, indicates that Microsoft will, at least for the time being, invest in the future of all market segments (re/code article).

Another interesting new development is that TCL Communications has started volume production of their new Alcatel branded POP S7 smartphone. This is, to our knowledge, the first LTE device from TCL and also the first smartphone to feature the new MediaTek LTE chipset, the MT6290 (The Wall Street Journal article). MediaTek is clearly intent on bringing LTE technology to cheaper price categories and it may well be that in a few-years’ time LTE will be in every smartphone, no matter if the smartphone is low-end or the latest flagship model.

Another new LTE entrant was Asustek, who introduced an LTE-enabled version of its ZenFone line. (Focus Taiwan article)

In the baseband industry, much has happened during the past few months. MediaTek has been growing rapidly -- their sales were up 20% in July compared to June and they raised their forecast for smartphone chip shipments for 2014 to 350 million units from an earlier estimate of 300 million units. (The China Post article)

According to Strategy Analytics’ July report, Qualcomm remained the dominant player in the cellular baseband market in the first quarter of 2014, but Intel was knocked out of the top three rankings for the first time in three years. Qualcomm retains its dominant position, especially in LTE, even though their LTE revenue share fell to 91% in the first quarter from 95% in the first quarter last year. (EE|Times article)

Intel is seeing a decline in its feature phone and 2G/3G business as the industry transitions to integrated LTE solutions, according to Intel CFO Stacy Smith. Intel's mobile group lost $1.12 billion in the second quarter, wider than the $761 million it lost in the prior year period. Intel is working to get its next-generation LTE chipset, the XMM 7260, which supports Cat 6 300 Mbps speeds and carrier aggregation, qualified for use in devices, but it could take until late this year or early next year before they will be able to ramp off with the solution. (Fierce Wireless article)

Intel has shown how difficult it is to successfully enter the smartphone processer market and Broadcom can surely agree. Broadcom announced on July 22 that they are winding down their baseband unit (Reuters article). Broadcomm’s decision is naturally disappointing not only for its stakeholders but also for those who hope for market diversity in the LTE business.

We hope that the OEM’s own LTE projects we reported in our April blog are successful or that there are some new entrants able to overcome the many obstacles that others have faced. One potential success story may come from China where a new chip giant was created when Unigroup acquired RDA Microelectronics. What makes this acquisition particularly interesting is the fact that Unigroup acquired Speadrum in July 2013. RDA was the third largest fabless semiconductor company in China while Speadrum was the second largest. (Forbes article)

In summary, we continue to believe that the recent developments support LTE market expansion predictions. Platform and processor diversity will ensure options and supply for all interested OEMs and facilitate growth into all price segments.

 

III. Portfolio/Prosecution

Below represents our current portfolio status (patents transferred to Lenovo excluded)

Overall Portfolio Prosecution Statistics -- 1 April 2014 to 30 June 2014

Number of Office Actions Received – 22
Number of Office Actions Responded – 21
Number of Search Reports received – 2
Number of Search Opinions Responded – 4

Number of Foreign Acceptances (not yet issued) – 0
Number of US Acceptances (not yet issued) – 13
Number of EP allowances (not yet issued) – 0

US Issued – 9
EP Issued – (not including EPs in their opposition period, but including validated EP countries) – 3
EP issued in opposition period – 5
Number of Foreign Issued – 3

TOTAL Granted – 20

Newly filed apps – 8
Abandoned – 4
Patents expired – 13

TOTAL Portfolio

Total Issued Patents = 2268
Total Pending Applications = 235

Total Portfolio Count: 2503

US Post Grant Proceedings Summary

Pending Inter Partes Reexams – 1
Pending Broadening Reissues – 5 (1 is currently in “Allowance” state)
Recently Issued Broadening Reissues – 1
Pending Self-Initiated Reexams – 1
Inter Partes Review – 3 cases instituted, 2 cases petitioned for
Covered Business Method – 3 cases instituted, 1 case petitioned for

We have filed responses in the three Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) and the three Covered Business Method (“CBM”) proceedings with Google, and are actively pursuing the validation of those patents. Square recently filed one CBM petition and two IPR petitions against the three patents from the Nevada litigation. We are currently evaluating these petitions, and plan to aggressively defend these valid patents.

 

IV. Enforcement

Below is a brief summary of each of our pending enforcement actions, all of which had significant developments over the past several months:

UK (Samsung, Huawei, Google)

  • A Case Management Conference was held July 9th in London -- the next will be October 9th.
  • At the conference, the Judge set five successive single patent trials, each spaced two months apart. The first three trial dates were set as follows:
    • October 5, 2015 (LTE patent #1)
    • November 30, 2015 (LTE patent #2)
    • February 1, 2016 (2G/3G patent)
    • We expect the remaining two trials to be around April 2016 (3G patent) and June 2016 (Android push patent).

Germany (Samsung, Huawei, Google, HTC, LG)

  • The first oral hearing occurred May 22nd in Dusseldorf.
  • The German Court set a series of trial dates, beginning June 30, 2015, with trials to follow each 90 days until all material is covered.
  • As a formality, the Court split the case into 30 separate matters (6 patents multiplied by 5 defendants). However, many of these matters will be heard at the same time.
  • The Court also staggered the substantive response pleading due dates throughout the Fall (beginning in September, ending in December)
  • HTC and Huawei are grouped together and Samsung and Google are grouped together
  • LG has not yet been determined but we expect them to join Samsung’s group.
  • The German court recently denied a motion brought by the Defendants that would have required Unwired Planet to post a large six-figure bond securing potential attorney fees and costs for all parties. The decision was based, among other things, upon the legitimate establishment of offices in Dublin for Unwired Planet International Limited, the subsidiary that owns the European patents at issue.

Apple – District Court of Nevada / Northern District of California

  • Had been assigned to Judge Yvonne Rogers in Oakland, CA. Scheduling Hearing took place on January 6th.
  • To expedite matters, Judge Rogers ruled that we must move forward to claim construction with 10 patent claims (from our 70 pending claims) for the time being, but we would maintain our rights on other patents and claims. We selected 10 claims from 5 patents for this first action and the claim construction (“Markman”) hearing (for these first 10 claims) was set for May 14th.
  • However, on April 17th we were reassigned to San Francisco-based Judge Vince Chhabria, whom then moved the Markman hearing to August 11th.
  • At the claim construction hearing this week, considerable progress was made and we anticipate a Markman order will issue shortly (though, of course, there are no guarantees on timing). Judge Chhabria stated that he would hold a Case Management Conference promptly following his Markman order.
  • We are currently scheduled to go to trial in February 2015, but we expect this date to slip several months in view of the Markman delay.

Google – District Court of Nevada

  • Google’s motion to transfer to Northern District of California was denied in August. Google sought reconsideration of the transfer decision and that was also denied.
  • Google filed 3 re-examinations (of 3 out of the 10 patents in the case) and sought a partial stay of the case (with respect to these same 3 patents). The partial stay was granted (See Prosecution section for more info).
  • We have dropped 3 patents from the case (1 in reexamination and 2 in the typical course of litigation). As a result we have 5 patents presently moving forward and 2 patents stayed pending reexamination.
  • The Markman hearing on these 5 patents is set for August 20th with a technology tutorial taking place on August 15th.
  • Judge Du has appointed an independent technical advisor to the Court.
  • Discovery is closed.
  • Trial date still unclear, although Feb 2015 is targeted.

Apple/RIM – District Court of Delaware

  • This case corresponds to the ITC case from 2012.
  • The case is now moving forward under Judge Andrews in Delaware.
  • Single claim term Markman hearing took place November 2013.
  • We received a negative but still ambiguous Markman ruling.
  • A trial date is set for February 2016.
  • The defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement based upon their interpretation of the claim construction. We have opposed based on our interpretation of that construction. If granted, this case would then proceed to the Appellate level.

Square – District Court of Nevada

  • Judge Jones has been assigned to this matter.
  • Square filed a transfer motion in December and we responded. Judge Jones denied Square’s motion, thereby keeping this case in Reno, NV.
  • The Markman hearing is set for September 22nd. Briefing is now complete.
  • Square has filed 2 IPR reexaminations and 1 CBM reexamination (see Prosecution section for more detail) and requested a stay in the case. We oppose the stay.

Microsoft – District Court of Delaware

  • Judge Sue Robinson has been assigned to this matter.
  • This is a breach of contract claim to recover an additional license payment that Microsoft owes to Unwired Planet.
  • The parties dispute elements of contract interpretation.
  • We expect this matter to progress relatively quickly (these matters are generally simpler than a patent infringement lawsuit).
Thursday
May082014

May 9, 2014 Update

Today we are providing a brief update regarding our litigation in Germany.

We have added LG Electronics as an additional defendant in our pending patent litigation in Dusseldorf, Germany (Press Release).

Our goal is to complete a license arrangement with LG on FRAND terms, but obviously, this has not yet occurred. We took this step in advance of our first oral hearing, which is scheduled to take place in Dusseldorf on May 22nd, to avoid the potential for subsequent delay in our case (i.e. if we had waited longer to take this action).

Thursday
May012014

April 30, 2013 Update

Today we are providing an update on activity taking place at Unwired Planet. This post incorporates our past blog entries and we recommend that you review all of them in chronological order. As before, we have divided our activities into four categories: Licensing, Technology, Portfolio/Prosecution & Enforcement. Following is an update on each area.

 

I. Licensing

As we have previously announced, we completed our first OEM license with Lenovo. The Lenovo license was one of two transactions that were signed together in March and for which payment was received in April. The other transaction was a sale of 21 patent families to Lenovo.

We continue to interact with dozens of companies across our 3 core markets (Mobile Devices, Mobile Cloud & Services and Network Infrastructure). Based upon our ongoing effort to uphold FRAND principles, on the heels of the Lenovo transactions, we adjusted our royalty rates to reflect that event and are in the process of communicating these royalty rates. We have published a copy of our standard license proposal here (FRAND License Proposal).

We feel very confident that our license pricing is well supported by comparables, the law and the economics of the smartphone market. We do, however, continue to expect that further effort, negotiation and time, and in some cases successful enforcement, will be needed to close licenses with all of the industry players.

 

II. Technology

The rapid growth in LTE sales is exciting news for Unwired Planet (CCS Insite article). Our revenue potential grows in proportion with this growth. 250 million LTE phones were sold in 2013 and 500 million are expected to be sold in 2014, growing to 1 billion in 2017. Our LTE portfolio has many years remaining (in many cases these patents will not expire until 2025 and later).

Here are a few additional articles that we found interesting:

In addition to the mobile devices themselves, we remain focused on the evolution of chipset platforms. As an example, OEMs are apparently trying to get better vertical control of the application processor market. Samsung has long been developing its own Exynos processor. Now market rumors suggest Samsung will be swapping the Snapdragon processors on Galaxy S5 Prime and beyond for Exynos with Intel LTE (Android Headlines article, International Business Times article). Additionally LG Electronics has confirmed that they also are developing their own application processor, called Odin, and apparently it will be mass-production ready soon (The Droid Guy article). Some analysts are saying that these projects are OEM’s effort to save costs, which we hope will translate into the introduction of mid-tier LTE devices.

Intel continues to push hard to be a key provider of mobile technology. At IDF Shenzhen, Intel’s CEO announced that Intel will be shipping its first Cat 6 multimode LTE solution, XMM 7260, in Q2 this year (The Motley Fool article).

In January we mentioned Mediatek’s MT6290 chip. Mediatek had their MT6595 chip in action at the China Electronic Information Expo (Fudzilla article). MT6595 is a big.LITTLE octa-core with integrated LTE support. With these developments, Mediatek seeks to become a significant LTE provider in the near term.

In summary, we believe that the recent developments support LTE market expansion predictions. Platform and processor diversity will ensure options and supply for all interested OEMs and facilitate growth into all price segments.

 

III. Portfolio/Prosecution

Below represents our current portfolio status (all patents transferred to Lenovo have already been excluded)

Overall Portfolio Prosecution Statistics -- 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2014

Number of Office Actions Received – 27
Number of Office Actions Responded – 31
Number of Search Reports received – 1
Number of Search Opinions Responded – 4

Number of Foreign Acceptances (not yet issued) – 4
Number of US Acceptances (not yet issued) – 8
Number of EP allowances (not yet issued) – 6

US Issued – 6
EP Issued - (not including EPs in their opposition period, but including validated EP countries) – 9
EP issued in opposition period – 3
Number of Foreign Issued – 2

TOTAL Granted – 22

Newly filed apps – 5
Abandoned – 6
Patents expired – 1

TOTAL Portfolio

Total Issued Patents = 2261
Total Pending Applications = 251

Total Portfolio Count: 2512

    Total Issued Patents = 2261
    Total Pending Applications = 251
    Total USA Assets = 1044
    Total Foreign Assets = 1468

US Post Grant Proceedings Summary

Pending Inter Partes Reexams – 1
Pending Broadening Reissues – 5 (2 are currently in “Allowance” state)
Pending Self-Initiated Reexams – 1
Inter Partes Review – 3 cases instituted
Covered Business Method – 3 cases instituted

The three Inter Partes Review proceedings and the three Covered Business Method proceedings relate to the same three patents (7,024,205, 7,203,752, and 7,463,151) and were each requested by Google, and were asserted in the ongoing Nevada litigation against Google. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) decided to institute proceedings but, in each instance, determined to institute on fewer than all of the grounds put forward by Google.

At this point, all six re-examination cases will proceed along an expedited and substantially parallel timeline through trial. These cases are currently scheduled to have oral arguments on January 13, 2015, with a final decision due by the end of April of 2015. If and when the PTAB issues a final decision, Google will thereafter be prevented from challenging the validity of these patents on any ground that they raised, and be prevented from challenging the validity based on most prior art that they could have reasonably raised, in these proceedings. This will significantly simplify existing and future enforcement actions against Google based on these patents.

 

IV. Enforcement

Below is a brief summary of each of our pending enforcement actions, all of which had significant developments over the past several months:

UK (Samsung, Huawei, Google)

  • UPIP has submitted FRAND-compliant licensing proposals to defendants.
  • Defenses will be due in late May and the initial case management conference is now expected to be in late June.
  • We will seek to obtain a trial date as soon as possible and expect that it will be set at the case management conference.

Germany (Samsung, Huawei, Google, HTC)

  • The first oral hearing will occur May 22nd in Dusseldorf. We will seek to obtain a trial date as soon as possible and expect that it will be set at the hearing.

Apple – District Court of Nevada / Northern District of California

  • Had been assigned to Judge Yvonne Rogers in Oakland, CA. Scheduling Hearing took place on January 6th.
  • To expedite matters, Judge Rogers ruled that we must move forward to claim construction with 10 patent claims (from our 70 pending claims) for the time being, but we would maintain our rights on other patents and claims. We selected 10 claims from 5 patents for this first action and the Markman Hearing (for these first 10 claims) was set for May 14th.
  • However, on April 17th we were reassigned to San Francisco-based Judge Vince Chhabria. We do not yet know what impact this will have on our schedule overall, but our Markman Hearing with Judge Rogers has been canceled.

Google – District Court of Nevada

  • Google’s motion to transfer to Northern District of California was denied in August. Google sought reconsideration of the transfer decision and that was also denied.
  • Google filed 3 re-examinations (of 3 out of the 10 patents in the case) and sought a partial stay of the case (with respect to these same 3 patents). The partial stay was granted.
  • We are moving forward with the remaining 7 patents in the case. 26 depositions have taken place already in this case.
  • Markman hearing is set for July 22nd.
  • Google recently filed a motion to bifurcate damages from liability phase of case. We oppose this motion.

Apple/RIM – District Court of Delaware

  • This case corresponds to the ITC case from 2012.
  • The case is now moving forward under Judge Andrews in Delaware.
  • Single claim term Markman hearing took place November 2013.
  • We received a negative but still ambiguous Markman ruling.
  • A trial date is set for February 2016.
  • The defendants will file a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement based upon their interpretation of the claim construction. If granted, this case would then proceed to the Appellate level.

Square – District Court of Nevada

  • Judge Jones has been assigned to this matter.
  • Square filed a transfer motion in December and we responded. There has been no ruling yet.
  • A scheduling conference took place in February, setting a Markman hearing for September 2014 and a settlement conference for May 15th.