Texas judge dismisses patent infringement claims by ‘serial litigant’ over watermarking technology

Posted
by Meagan Martin

A Texas district court judge has tossed a $210 million lawsuit filed against Frontier Communications Corp. accusing the company of patent infringement. Frontier alleged that the company that filed the lawsuit, Blue Spike, was a “serial litigant” whose allegations amounted to little more than 140 pages of boilerplate accusations.

Blue Spike filed a lawsuit in May 2018 against Frontier accusing the company of violating its intellectual property rights. The lawsuit alleges that Frontier’s FiOS TV service had infringed on 11 patents held by Blue Spike related to watermark-embedding technology.

In September 2018, Frontier filed a motion asking Judge Robert Schroeder III of the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss Blue Spike’s lawsuit. Frontier argued that because it was a holding company that did not “own, operate, sell or offer for sale” any products that utilized the allegedly infringing technologies, it was the wrong entity against whom for Blue Spike to file a lawsuit. Frontier alleged that when it informed Blue Spike that it was suing the wrong entity, the company refused to substitute the correct entity in its suit.

Furthermore, Frontier argued in its motion, the patent infringement claim filed by Blue Spike contained boilerplate allegations against a competitor that had simply been copied and pasted from a previous lawsuit. Frontier argued that these boilerplate allegations underscored the predatory nature of Blue Spike’s action and the company’s lack of due diligence in filing the claim.

That same month, Frontier and Blue Spike filed a joint stipulation asking Judge Schroeder to drop the case. Judge Schroeder agreed, dismissing the infringement claim against Frontier with prejudice and ordering that “attorneys’ fees and costs are to be borne by the party that incurred them.” Judge Schroeder gave Frontier clearance to seek attorneys’ fees or sanctions against counsel for Blue Spike if it so desired, and also granted Blue Spike permission to file similar claims against companies besides Frontier, including those indirectly linked to that company.

Facing an intellectual property suit? Our lawyers can help.

If your company is facing patent infringement or other commercial litigation claims – include predatory claims filed by serial litigants – contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about how we can help with your case. Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled hundreds of intellectual property and commercial litigation cases on behalf of businesses of all sizes, ranging from small, local businesses to some of the largest multinational corporations in the world.

The ability of our law firm to successfully handle intellectual property cases is aided by the extensive trial experience possessed by our attorneys. Although technical knowledge and familiarity with laws regarding intellectual property is essential for attorneys handling these claims, there is no substitute for courtroom experience. The seasoned litigators at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the track record to take on even the most complex cases and explain them in terms a jury can understand.

For more information about your legal rights and options, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach our attorneys by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free commercial litigation case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions to get started.