Mon, Feb. 9, 5:02 PM
- Quiet for much of the day, Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) blasted off during the final hour. Growing hopes for a favorable ZTE settlement are the apparent trigger.
- Late on Friday, ZTE filed a request in a Delaware federal court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction against Vringo to prevent it from submitting a deposit to enforce a recent Romanian injunction - ZTE phones sold in Europe are produced in Romania - while stating it wants to license Vringo's patents on FRAND terms. Vringo responded (.pdf) with a letter to the judge handling the case accusing ZTE of violating an NDA.
- SA author Patent Plays: "It now appears Vringo, who was "slow rolling" the Romania cash deposit, may have done so to provoke ZTE into filing a FRAND lawsuit here in the United States ... It now appears that Vringo may have strategically aligned these series of events to advance not only a ZTE Frand settlement, concerning Vringo's 3G 4G LTE wireless patents, but a far reaching NDA lawsuit affecting the entire smartphone industry."
- Update: Vringo is up another 12.4% to $0.91.
Sun, Feb. 8, 3:32 PM
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has introduced a new version of the Innovation Act, a bill aiming to make it tougher for IP licensing firms (often referred to by critics as patent trolls) to pursue infringement suits. The original Innovation Act was shelved 9 months ago by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), reportedly at the behest of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). With the Republicans now controlling the Senate, the new version might have better odds.
- Among other things, the bill: 1) Requires plaintiffs to disclose a patent's owner prior to litigation, and explain why they're suing a company in proceedings. 2) Requires courts to make a decision on a patent's validity early in the litigation process. 3) Requires judges to award attorney's fees to defendants for frivolous claims. 4) Requires the Judicial Conference to create rules lowering the costs of the discovery process during litigation, so that "patent trolls cannot use the high costs of discovery to extort money." 5) Creates "a voluntary process for small businesses to postpone expensive patent lawsuits."
- Not surprisingly, Goodlatte's bill has been praised by an IT/telecom trade group - "We finally have a bill that would create a bit of gridlock for patent trolls’ extortion schemes." And it has been harshly criticized by a trade group representing IP licensors. "[T]he bill being introduced is over broad and does not take into account the many developments that have taken place over the past year in the patent landscape..."
- As it is, the last two years have seen the White House issue executive actions and legislative proposals aimed at curtailing patent law abuses, the Supreme Court set limits on software patents (while upholding software's patentability), and lower federal courts issue a string of adverse rulings against various firms pursuing infringement claims.
- IP licensing firms: ACTG, VRNG, VHC, SPEX, WILN, MARA, FNJN, OTCQB:WDDD, PRKR, DSS
Wed, Feb. 4, 1:11 PM
- The Romanian court handling Vringo's (VRNG +4) infringement suit against ZTE in the country has rejected ZTE's attempt to obtain extraordinary relief for an injunction placed on sales of 4G phones and infrastructure gear within the country.
- ZTE had petitioned the court to require Vringo to pay a €40M bond. Vringo's bond payment remains at €240K. The injunction remains in place "pending trial on the merits."
- Shares are higher, but have pared their gains for the day after Vringo's PR was released. They rose slightly yesterday after Vringo provided a legal update on its battles against ZTE in the U.K., Romania, Germany, Brazil, and China.
Fri, Jan. 23, 1:22 PM
- A German court has ruled ZTE and Asus didn't infringe the German parts of Vringo's (NASDAQ:VRNG) '136 and '941 European patents. The first patent covers devices (including hotspot-capable hardware) that provide data services between two networks, and the second is related to navigation systems providing traffic info. (8-K)
- Vringo says it's exploring all possible remedies, including appeal. A German court is also set to rule on the validity of the '136 and '941 patents (the hearing date hasn't yet been set).
- Vringo has been squaring off against ZTE in many different locales. Last month, a U.K. court ordered ZTE to pay Vringo $938K to cover the latter's legal costs for an infringement suit related to the U.K. part of Vringo's '919 European patent.
Tue, Jan. 20, 12:14 PM
- By a 7-2 margin, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Teva Pharmaceuticals in its patent suit against generic drugmakers, thereby reversing a federal appeals court (CAFC) decision that declared a patent in dispute was invalid, and sending the case back for further review.
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) appears to have gotten a lift from the ruling. The company is a month removed from stating it will seek a Supreme Court review of the CAFC's adverse ruling against Vringo regarding its infringement suit against Google, after the CAFC denied a petition for an en banc review of its decision. (hat tip: Patent Plays)
- Shares are still down 82% from where they traded prior to the Google ruling.
Sun, Jan. 4, 3:49 PM
- The following stocks were the Russell 2000's worst performers in 2014:
- KWK -93.5%. WLT -91.7%. AMZG -89.5%. PHMD -88.2%. EXXI -88%. RGDO -86.8%. REN -85.4%. HERO -84.7%. EOX -84.3%. MCP -94.3%. CVEO -84.2%. BPZ -84.1%. FWM -82.6%. MILL -82.2%. NADL -81.6%. VRNG -81.4%. CYTX -81%. SALT -80.5%. PRKR -80%. MBII -79.7%. NTLS -79.2%. COVS -78.9%. KEG -78.9%. MM 78 MPO -77%. ANR -76.6%. EXEL -76.5%. SZYM -76.3%. CONN -76.2%. ANV -75.5%. GALT -75.5%. ZQK -74.8%. ARO -74.5%. REXX -74.1%. GDP -74%. FUEL -73.8%. QRHC -73.7%. VTG -73.4%. RLOC -73%. XONE -72.2%.
Dec. 22, 2014, 11:56 AM
- A U.K. patent court has ordered ZTE to pay Vringo (VRNG -3.2%) £600K ($938K) to cover Vringo's legal costs for an infringement suit related to the U.K. part of European patent 1,212,919.
- Vringo adds ZTE's obligations to pay Vringo's remaining legal costs related to the suit "will be assessed by a separate process" next year.
- Last month, the patent court ruled ZTE infringed the U.K. portion of the patent, which is related to 3G/4G infrastructure hardware. At the time, ZTE stated "the impact of the decision on ZTE’s business operations in the U.K. is limited as no ZTE products containing technology related to the ‘919’ patent are currently shipped in the country."
Dec. 19, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Vringo (VRNG +2.9%) states COO Alexander R. Berger is transitioning to a consulting role. The company adds a new employment agreement has been reached with CFO Anastasia Nyrkovskaya.
- Vringo has also provided an update on its various court battles. Hearings were recently held in Germany, Romania, and India for Vringo infringement suits against ZTE, and an infringement ruling was levied against ZTE in the U.K. A Brazilian injunction against ZTE remains in force.
- A German court will rule on ZTE and Asus' alleged infringement of two Vringo patents in early 2015, and a ZTE appeal of a German infringement ruling for another patent is set for July 22. Oral hearings are set to take place in France and Malaysia, and a trial is expected to begin in Australia in 2H15.
- Shares fell 22% on Monday after Vringo announced a U.S. federal appeals court had denied Vringo's petition for an en banc review of its August ruling regarding Vringo's suit against Google.
Dec. 15, 2014, 12:40 PM
- The federal appeals court that ruled against Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) in its infringement suit against Google has denied its petition for en banc review of the ruling.
- Vringo says it will now seek a Supreme Court review. Lawyer David Boies: "This case presents important questions of patent law and the role of juries in patent cases that require further review. The dissenting opinion is a powerful signal that this case warrants attention."
- The SC only hears a small fraction of the cases appealed to it. Federal courts have been frequently ruling against IP licensing firms this year, as Unwired Planet can attest.
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:07 AM
- A U.K. patent court has ruled ZTE infringed the U.K. portion of Vringo's (NASDAQ:VRNG) '919 European patent, which covers 3G/4G infrastructure gear. The court also ruled the patent to be valid as amended.
- A subsequent hearing will be held to address remedies. Vringo has sued ZTE in a number of different markets (I, II, III).
- Update: ZTE states "the impact of the decision on ZTE’s business operations in the UK is limited as no ZTE products containing technology related to the ‘919’ patent are currently shipped in the country."
Oct. 17, 2014, 2:24 PM
- The White House has nominated Michelle Lee, once Google's lead patent counsel, to head the USPTO. Lee is currently the USPTO's deputy director.
- Google, like several other tech giants, has been a strong proponent of overhauling the U.S. patent system, with an eye towards limiting software patents and making it easier for defendants to recover legal fees from perceived patent trolls in the event that they win.
- In June 2013, the White House unveiled a slew of executive actions and legal actions meant to curtail patent system abuses. This year, the Supreme Court upheld the patentability of software concepts, but also set limits. That ruling has been followed by a string of adverse decisions levied by lower federal courts against companies pursuing infringement claims.
- IP licensing firms: ACTG, VHC, WILN, VRNG, CRDS, DSS, FNJN, MARA
Oct. 15, 2014, 11:20 AM
- Not surprisingly (given past statements), Vringo (VRNG +4.9%) has "submitted a petition for rehearing en banc in its case against Google and certain of Google`s customers" to the U.S. federal appeals court that ruled against it in August.
- Vringo's petition "argues that the majority`s opinion in this case presents important questions of law and is at odds with a series of Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions, which do not allow appellate judges to disregard a jury`s detailed findings under these circumstances."
- Shares have moved higher following the announcement.
Oct. 7, 2014, 6:34 PM
- In a shareholder update, Vringo (VRNG -4.7%) says it has hired David Boies, chairman of law firm Boies, Schiller, and Flexner LLP, to assist with the company's efforts to obtain a review of the CAFC's adverse Google ruling. Boies joins appellate counsel Joseph R. Re, as well as trial counsel provided by law firm Dickinson Shapiro LLP.
- The company adds it will file a petition for an en banc review of the Google ruling (previous) on Oct. 15, and that supporters can file amicus briefs by Oct. 22. Meanwhile, several trials and hearings related to Vringo's legal battle against ZTE are set to take place between now and year's end.
- Vringo had $26.5M in current assets at the end of September, down from $29M at the time of its Sep. 2 shareholder update.
Sep. 2, 2014, 12:32 PM
- In a shareholder update, Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) says it's "preparing for the next steps" in its legal battle against Google following last month's appeals court ruling.
- The company also notes it has more than 10 hearings scheduled this year for various IP suits - a list of hearing dates is provided for its disputes with ZTE and Asus - and that it currently has $29M in cash and no debt.
- Vringo adds it "continues to review assets and strategic opportunities that it believes would add value for our shareholders."
- Shares still -66% from where they traded prior to the appeals court ruling.
- Previous: Vringo to seek en banc review of Google ruling
Aug. 26, 2014, 12:45 PM
Aug. 20, 2014, 12:46 PM
Vringo Inc is engaged in identifying, generating, acquiring, and deriving economic benefits from intellectual property assets. Its intellectual property portfolio consists of over 500 patents and patent applications.
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