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Looks Like Marathon Patent Is Starting To Make Some Noise

Caught this excellent article written by Dan Lonkevich of DealFlow Media. Seems like Marathon is starting to get going with their IP defense.

Patent Investor Marathon Accuses Sony, Dell, Others of Infringement

By Dan Lonkevich
March 21, 2013 5:45 PM ET

Patent investor Marathon Patent Group (NASDAQ:MARA) filed its first infringement lawsuit, accusing a group of companies including Sony Computer Entertainment, Dell and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of infringing patents related to online systems for workflow management and collaboration.

Marathon's legal strategy is supported by investors who have made a name for themselves in the small-cap financing market. They include Hudson Bay Capital Management and GRQ Consultants. Numerous small cap investors are currently focusing on the business of patent monetization.

Other defendants named in Marathon's suit are Winn-Dixie Stores, Siemens' energy division, Juniper Networks, and CB Apex Realtors.

The suit was filed March 20 in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas.

All of the defendants use an online communications system offered by Hyperoffice to facilitate workflow and collaboration on group tasks, projects and documents, according to the suit.

Marathon, based in Alexandria, Va., said the infringed patents are held by its SAMPO IP LLC unit, which it purchased in November from LVL Patent Group. LVL was owned by Doug Croxall, who took over as chairman and chief executive officer of Marathon following the purchase of LVL's patent portfolio.

"The patents recite systems and methods for centralized communication by storing information and pushing notifications to group participants, providing links to portions of the stored information while restricting access to other portions of the stored information, and pushing notifications to user peripheral," Marathon said in a recent securities filing.

"The defendants have directly infringed, and continue to directly infringe, the claims of the asserted patents by using the accused communications systems and methods covered by the claims of the asserted patents," Marathon said in its lawsuit. "The defendants' infringing acts have caused, and will continue to cause, damage to plaintiff in an amount to be proven in trial."

Marathon is being represented by the law firms of Spangler & Fussell of Longview, Texas, and Stadheim & Grear of Chicago. Attorneys with the two firms couldn't be reached for comment.

Marathon spokesman Jason Assad declined to comment on how much the company is seeking in damages.

A spokesman for Blue Cross declined to comment on the lawsuit. Representatives of the other the defendants couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Recent patent infringement cases have generated substantial awards for patent investors. VirnetX Holdings Corp. (NYSEMKT:VHC) won a $200 million settlement from Microsoft in 2010 and a $368 million verdict against Apple last year. VirnetX also recently lost in a patent infringement case against Cisco Systems.

Vringo Inc. (VRNG) won a $31 million award in a patent infringement suit last November against a group of companies that included Google, AOL, and Target Corp.

Article Tag(s): Legal News, Intellectual Property