As an update to our post on Patent Trolls: A Global Perspective, we have learned from our colleagues in Japan that Japanese courts decided 2 patent infringement cases involving patent trolls in January 2014.
The first case, IPCom GmBH (IPCom) v. eAccess (a Japanese telecommunications company that provides asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) services to other internet service providers), was filed in the Tokyo District Court. The patent at issue involved a connection method for mobile phone calls. The Court dismissed IPCom’s suit on the ground that the accused products did not fall within the scope of the claims. Readers will recall that IPCom is the patent troll that recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in Mannheim, Germany, over Apple’s use of network management technology that prioritizes emergency calls, even if the network is congested.
The second case, High Point SARL (a Luxembourg-based company) [High Point] v. KDDI Corporation (a Japanese telecommunications company that provides mobile cellular services) was filed in the Intellectual Property (IP) High Court. The patent at issue involved a system for maintaining the quality of radio communications. The IP High Court dismissed the action on the ground that the patent was invalid. High Point has sued Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile in the U.S. over 4 patents relating to methods of managing wireless call traffic through a telecommunications network and other functions of the system.
Please continue to watch the BRIC Wall for further updates on global patent troll activity.
Contributors to this post include Lisa Mueller and Katsumasa Osaki of Kawaguti & Partners.