L2 Mobile Technologies LLC, an entity under the control of NPE Longhorn IP LLC, has filed suit against Alphabet (Google) (6:21-cv-00358) in the Western District of Texas, accusing Google of infringing three patents through the provision of smartphones “that comply with the 3G and/or with both the 3G and 4G wireless communications standard”. L2 Mobile picked the patents up in January 2017, pleading in its new complaint that ASUSTek “declared before [the European Telecommunications Standards Institute] ETSI the Patents in Suit as essential to the 3G wireless communications standard”.

That January 2017 assignment moved 19 wireless communications patents from Innovative Sonic Limited to L2 Mobile. The patents-including the three now in suit (8,054,7778,179,913RE47,200)-appear to belong to a portfolio discussed on Longhorn IP’s website, described as originating with a “world renowned consumer electronics company” and comprising over 150 assets related to “3G and 4G/LTE cellular technologies”.

Khaled Fekih-Romdhane and Christian (“Chris”) Dubuc, both past executives of Acacia Research Corporation, formed Longhorn IP in April 2016 in Texas. The enterprise’s main monetization entity, Longhorn IP identifies its “portfolios” via the Texas entities that hold them: Carthage Silicon Innovations LLC (holding patents issuing to either SK Hynix or Magnachip); L2 Mobile (holding the former ASUSTek patents received from Innovative Sonic); Katana Silicon Technologies LLC (holding and litigating former Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba portfolios); Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC (holding and litigating multiple patents received from AMD); Nordic Interactive Technologies LLC (having received from Intellectual Ventures LLC over 20 US patents originally developed by FirepadVoicecraft, or Nokia); Ox Mobile Technologies LLC (holding several patents received from ZTE); and Trenchant Blade Technologies, LLC (holding and now litigating former TSMC assets).

In March 2019, Dubuc and Fekih-Romdhane filed amendments for various controlled Texas entities-including for Longhorn IP-to shift the identified members from themselves as individuals to separate corporations that each person formed in Texas in May 2016: Taijitu Ventures Inc. (with Dubuc identified as its president and director) and Tanit Ventures Inc. (with Fekih-Romdhane analogously identified). Late in 2019, however, Dubuc and Fekih-Romdhane parted ways, Dubuc changing the name of Taijitu Ventures to Harfang IP Investment Corp (d/b/a Harfang IP), while other Texas state filings vest full control in Longhorn and its “portfolio” entities in Fekih-Romdhane alone (through Tanit Ventures).

Longhorn IP filed suit against Samsung years ago, through Katana Silicon Technologies, which ended in an agreement that Samsung now contends should preclude assertion of former TSMC patents against it, through Trenchant Blade. Samsung filed a Northern District of California suit seeking declaratory judgments of noninfringement of three patents, as well as enforcement of a prior covenant not to sue. Longhorn IP and Trenchant Blade contest jurisdiction in that court, with briefing on the issue underway. Meanwhile, Trenchant Blade has filed an affirmative suit against Samsung in the Western District of Texas. There, the court granted a joint request for a stay to await a ruling from the Northern District of California on the NPEs’ jurisdictional motion. To dig into that fray, see here.

L2 Mobile pleads that Google has had notice of the ‘777 and ‘913 patents, since September 2018; and the ‘200 patent, since “as early as March 2, 2020”. 4/9, Western District of Texas.

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