Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Are Acacia jurisdiction shopping with patent claims

Patent Poll Tracker has a fascinating list of some of the patent infringement cases pursued by Acacia in December 2007 and comments:

"Turning to our busiest patent troll in 2007, Acacia, it kept up momentum in December with new lawsuits.

Acacia's new subsidiary Coronary Stent Visualization Corp., established in Delaware on 11/19/07 with a principal place of business of 500 Newport Center Drive, 7th Floor, Newport Beach, CA, filed a lawsuit less than a month after formation. Acacia sued Philips Electronic North America Corp. on 3 patents owned by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles) and allegedly exclusively licensed to Acacia. The exclusive license likely happened at some point just prior to February 2007, when Cedars-Sinai (represented by Jones Day-LA) told the PTO it had lost its small entity status. The 3 patents are 5,054,045; 5,457,728; and 5,822,391. The lawsuit, involving a Los Angeles patentee, Los Angeles inventors, a Los Angeles exclusive licensee/plaintiff, a Los Angeles prosecuting attorney/law firm (well, now-defunct Lyon & Lyon, anyway), and a New York defendant, was filed in Marshall, Texas on 12/17/07 by DiNovo Price Ellwanger of Austin.

Acacia also filed a big case on December 4, in the Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) - the second case they have filed there. This time the sub was Document Generation Corp., and Acacia used Simon Passanante of St. Louis. Patent asserted was 5,148,366. Again, Acacia said it is only the exclusive licensee. 19 defendants were sued, all in the medical software field. GE Healthcare and McKesson are the big ones, but 17 small-to-medium business were sued, too...

Acacia, a California company located in CDCA, is an exclusive licensee who has sued 19 defendants, who are located in 17 different judicial districts (including CDCA). The original assignee and inventors were all from Minnesota, then the patent was transferred via merger and relocation to a company in the Southern District of Ohio, and finally has ended up with I-Think, LLC, an Ann Arbor Michigan corporation which appears to be a subsidiary of the original Minnesota assignee, now called DocuMed. That's about 20 different judicial districts that make sense in terms of venue, yet Acacia chose the Southern District of Illinois. Why, exactly? What's in East St. Louis that appeals to Acacia?"

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