Tue, Aug. 25, 2:32 PM
- Accusing ZTE of (among other things) violating a court order for general counsel Guo Xiaoming to appear before a Manhattan court handling Vringo's (VRNG -3%) infringement suit against the company, and of failing to produce documents in a timely manner, Vringo says it plans to "file a comprehensive sanctions motion" to address ZTE's alleged misdeeds.
- ZTE has justified its refusal to make Guo available by arguing he could be arrested due to an ongoing federal probe (launched in 2012) of possible unauthorized ZTE exports to Iran. Lewis Kaplan, the judge handling Vringo's suit, recently denied ZTE's request to have Guo's deposition take place in Hong Kong
- The court filing (.pdf)
Fri, Jul. 31, 11:21 AM
- "Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) respectfully requests that this Court order that all responsive documents be produced from all ZTE custodians' electronic and hardcopy files, and from all of ZTE's internal networks, by a date certain." Thus reads the first sentence in the conclusion of a Vringo motion to compel complete document production by ZTE.
- Vringo accuses ZTE of having "a team of more than 115 employees working on the Vringo litigation and asserting 'countermeasures' against Vringo," and of providing these employees with Vringo's NDA material. "Last week ZTE represented that its document production was substantially complete. ZTE now has admitted that it never collected (or even looked for) documents from the vast majority of ZTE employees that received Vringo's NDA material ... based on ZTE's email retention and newly disclosed destruction procedures, it is highly likely that evidence was destroyed."
- Prior Vringo/ZTE coverage
Mon, Jun. 29, 10:52 AM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) states a Brazilian appellate judge has denied ZTE's request to overturn a preliminary injunction placed on ZTE 3G/4G mobile infrastructure hardware ruled to be infringing Vringo's IP.
- Vringo has also filed a brief with the trial court that issued the injunction to request "further enforcement measures to secure ZTE`s compliance with the injunction, and asking the court to order ZTE to pay an accumulated daily fine of R$ 8,080,000-approximately $2.5 million-for ZTE`s violation of the injunction." A decision is expected shortly.
- In Romania, a Bucharest appeals court has denied a ZTE request to cancel a January ruling placing an injunction on ZTE 4G phones and infrastructure hardware. Vringo adds it's "investigating whether ZTE Romania and its retailers have breached the preliminary injunction."
- In the U.S., a Southern New York district court has "granted Vringo's motions to de-designate ZTE's responses to discovery requests, including those that reference ZTE's communications with the National Resources Development Counsel ("NDRC") of the People`s Republic of China, as 'Highly Confidential - Attorneys Eyes Only - US Only'." Vringo declares the ruling will allow it to "participate more effectively in its breach of contract case against ZTE, in which the Court has already held that ZTE breached a non-disclosure agreement signed between the parties in December 2013."
- Prior Vringo/ZTE coverage
- Last Friday: Vringo files $50M mixed shelf
Fri, Jun. 26, 6:21 PM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has filed to sell up to $50M (max. offering size of $55.4M) worth of stock, debt, warrants, and/or other securities through future offerings. (S-3 filing)
- The IP licensing firm had $12.2M in cash at the end of Q1, and no debt.
- Previously: Vringo CTO changing roles, forming JV with company
Wed, Jun. 24, 10:40 AM
- Andrew Lang is stepping down as Vringo's (VRNG -3.3%) CTO, and also from the board. (8-K filing)
- However, Lang will now have as position as Vringo's Head of Technology, and is forming a JV with the company in which he'll have a 49% stake. The JV aims to develop and commercialize "new technologies in the areas of mobile, security, digital currencies, and trusted computing and communication infrastructure."
Thu, Jun. 18, 3:04 PM
Thu, May 14, 12:27 PM
- Vringo (VRNG +3.4%) has officially filed a petition for a Supreme Court review of last August's federal appeals court (CAFC) ruling that overturned a Virginia jury's infringement verdict against Google.
- The company stated in December it planned to seek a Supreme Court review, after the CAFC denied Vringo's petition for an en banc review of its ruling. The S.C. only reviews a tiny % of petitioned cases.
- Vringo's petition argues "the Supreme Court should intervene to ensure that patent litigation does not continue to be at risk of arbitrary re-litigation years after a patent has been issued by appellate judges who did not witness the trial and have only the cold record to review."
- Separately, ZTE states China's patent re-examination board has invalidated a Vringo patent for the 13th time in 9 months. The invalidations come ahead of a June 1 hearing by a Shenzhen court for a ZTE anti-monopoly suit against Vringo.
Tue, May 5, 1:11 AM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has "entered into an agreement with a long-standing institutional investor to issue $12.5 million of senior secured convertible notes." (PR) (8-K filing)
- The notes mature 21 months from issuance, carry an interest rate of 8%, and have a conversion price of $1.00 (39% above current levels). Vringo can repay the notes "in either cash or, subject to certain conditions, shares of the company`s common stock at a discount to the then-current market price."
- Along with the notes, the investor is receiving warrants to purchase 5.375M shares at $1 apiece; they'll be "exercisable six months and one day from the date of issuance and will have a term of five years from the date they first become exercisable."
- Vringo only says it will use the proceeds to "enhance its monetization efforts around the world for existing and upcoming monetization efforts." The company had $16M in cash at the end of 2014, and less than $200K in debt. 2014 free cash flow was -$28.6M.
Fri, May 1, 9:43 AM
- An online listing of the statuses of various U.K. lawsuits suggests Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has settled its British infringement suit against ZTE. Vringo has jumped in response.
- Vringo stated a month ago it had filed a Statement of Case in the U.K. that "sets out terms for a FRAND license in the context of appropriate relief being determined" for a patent a local court had ruled ZTE to be infringing. Last December, ZTE was ordered to pay $938K in Vringo legal fees on account of having been ruled to infringe the U.K. part of a Vringo European patent.
Wed, Apr. 8, 5:04 PM
- A Southern New York federal court has ruled ZTE breached an NDA with Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) that formed the original basis of Vringo's U.S. claim against the Chinese IT/telecom equipment firm.
- The court, which assumed control of Vringo's U.S. suit against ZTE in February, has also granted Vringo's requests to consolidate its NDA case and FRAND licensing case (previous) against ZTE for purposes of pretrial discovery, to extend the deadline for fact discovery, and to seal an unredacted version of Vringo's Motion to Compel.
- Vringo also states a French infringement trial against ZTE will start on April 13, and that Brazilian "court-appointed experts" are finalizing reports Vringo believes will demonstrate ZTE's flouting of a local injunction that was upheld last month.
- Shares rose to $0.745 in regular trading. They're up 35% YTD, but remain sharply below where they traded before last summer's adverse CAFC Google ruling.
Mon, Mar. 23, 11:07 AM
- A Brazilian court has denied ZTE's fifth attempt to end an injunction placed in April 2014 on the sale of 3G/4G infrastructure hardware declared to be infringing Vringo's (VRNG -4.2%) IP. ZTE had offered to post a bond in exchange for the injunction's lifting.
- Vringo adds it recently "accompanied a court officer and court-appointed experts on a raid of a ZTE warehouse," during which "the court officer seized ZTE infrastructure equipment and a significant number of documents." The company asserts the seized docs "uncovered evidence that ZTE has sold infringing products in violation of the injunction."
- Vringo, which has sued ZTE in many locales worldwide. blasted off in February on ZTE settlement hopes, but quickly returned a majority of its gains. Shares are selling off today in spite of the Brazilian announcement.
Tue, Mar. 3, 11:28 AM
- Volatile Vringo (VRNG +7%) has rallied strongly over the last two trading days after providing an update on its ongoing legal battle against ZTE, and publishing patent licensing rate term sheets on its site.
- Of note: Vringo stated ZTE is seeking (in the U.S.) "a final determination on a global FRAND license for ZTE to Vringo`s standard-essential patents," and that its complaint will be heard in a Southern New York district court.
- Also: Vringo says it filed a Statement of Case in the U.K. that "sets out terms for a FRAND license in the context of appropriate relief being determined" for a Vringo patent ZTE was ruled to infringe, should ZTE request a FRAND license.
- Shares soared last month on hopes a ZTE settlement was near, but gradually gave back a chunk of their gains.
Tue, Feb. 10, 11:51 AM
- Four days after ZTE filed a request in a Delaware court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) to prevent it from making a deposit that would allow a Romanian injunction to be enforced, a motion to dissolve the TRO has been granted, and the case transferred to a Southern New York district court. (hat tip: Patent Plays)
- Also: Court docs indicate ZTE's chief IP officer recently visited Vringo's NYC office last week.
- Vringo's shares are up 53% over the last two trading days.
- Yesterday: Vringo closes up 30.6% on ZTE settlement hopes
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.
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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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