Proven Networks, LLC has filed suit against Palo Alto Networks (2:20-cv-00389) in the Eastern District of Texas, a couple of months after its earlier cases—against Amazon, Arista Networks, Cisco, Dell (EMC), HP Enterprise (HPE) (Aruba Networks), NetApp, Solarwinds, and SonicWall—have been consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation before District Judge Alan D. Albright, in the Western District of Texas, for pretrial proceedings. Multiple former Nokia patents are at issue in this campaign, which has seen voluntary dismissals without prejudice in additional cases, against Extreme Networks and F5 Networks.
Two of those patents are asserted in the new complaint against Palo Alto Networks (8,018,852; 8,165,024), as well as against others. In total, six patents are at issue across the campaign, including one against only Cisco (7,508,757) and three others against multiple other defendants (7,450,507; 7,877,786; 8,812,454). An assertion grid for the campaign is available on RPX Insight. Judge Albright has scheduled a claim construction hearing in the consolidated action for April 23, 2021.
Proven Networks was formed as "RAK Investments III, LLC" in California on October 24, 2019. It received the asserted patents from Provenance Asset Group LLC in late February 2020. In corporate filings, various attorneys from the Russ August & Kabat law firm, including Larry Russ and Jules Kabat, are identified as the entity's managers or members, and the entity's business purpose is described as "investment in patent portfolio". In its Northern District of California cases, Proven has disclosed only Russ August & Kabat, its trial counsel, as a nonparty having an interest in the outcome of the litigation.
As reported in more detail here, Provenance was formed in October 2014 to offer for sale over 1,200 patent families, received from Nokia, under a business model that would have companies targeted with infringement allegations purchase an exclusive license to patent assets for defensive purposes. Publicly available USPTO records identify several outbound assignments from Provenance, including to Facebook in July 2018 (over 100 assets transacted); LytEn, a Silicon Valley technology start-up in December 2018 (over 40 assets transacted); Wireless Innovations LLC, an NPE with ties to VIA Licensing, a subsidiary of Dolby Labs, in March 2019 (27 US assets transacted, plus foreign counterparts); Sisvel International S.A. in April 2019 (18 US assets transacted, plus foreign counterparts); MediaTek in June 2019 (three US assets transacted); and Google in December 2019 (22 US assets transacted).
A downloadable, one-page assessment of the campaign is available from RPX Insight here. 12/18, Eastern District of Texas.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.