Cascades Computer Innovation v. RPX, HTC, LG, Motorola, Dell, Samsung (N.D. Cal. 2012)
In a bold move, non-practicing patent holder CCI has sued a group of tech companies and the patent aggregator RPX for price fixing and conspiring to restrain trade in violation of the Clayton and Sherman Acts as well as under California state antitrust law. The allegation is that RPX and its members decided as a group to boycott negotiations with Cascades except through their aggregator RPX.
Defendants HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Dell sell more than 95 percent of all mobile phones and tablets that use the Android operating systems in the United States and are an important part of the Android market, and related, relevant sub-markets (including products that require a license from Cascades under its patented technology). The manufacturing defendants constitute nearly the total demand for the licensing of Cascades’ patented technology and collectively enjoy substantial market power in that market and, together with others in the industry, have exercised their power to control the acceptance and terms and conditions of licenses from Cascades. The power is augmented by the willingness and agreement of the manufacturing defendants to infringe Cascades’ patents until such time as Cascades capitulates by either going out of business, declining to enforce the patents or offering defendants patent license terms below fair market value.”
The complaint is well written and worth a read. Nick McCain at Courthouse News has more: http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/09/44560.htm.