updated 05:34 pm EDT, Thu October 3, 2013
Innovatio IP Ventures handed setback in patent stable licensing
Information has started to surface about Judge James F. Holderman's effective upholding of Judge James Robart's FRAND approach for determining royalties for standards-essential patent (SEP) licensing. Patent holding company Innovatio IP Ventures has been awarded less than one percent of what it was seeking in the case, and is now entitled only to a per-unit royalty of $0.0956 "for each Wi-Fi chip used or sold by the manufacturers in the United States" for a license to use any one of its 19 standards-essential Wi-Fi patents.
Innovatio IP Ventures has, according to the court filings "sued numerous coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, large retailers, transportation companies, and other commercial users of wireless internet technology located throughout the United States" and produces no products of its own. Subject to the license fee (assuming the patents have been found to be infringed) are manufacturers Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions (not to be confused with Google's Motorola Mobility), Netgear, and SonicWall.
According to the demand filed by Innovatio IP Ventures, it was seeking $3.39 per router or access point, $4.72 per laptops, $16.17 per tablet, and up to $36.90 for other peripherals such as bar code scanners or Wi-Fi enabled printers. It was awarded less than 10 cents per patent used in each device.
Patent analyst Florian Mueller says of the ruling that "Judge Robart's ruling becomes ever more influential. In the Innovatio case, the parties disagreed on a lot of things, but no party proposed a different approach than Judge Robart's -- they just disputed its application to this case." The new ruling reinforces Judge Robart's value of standards-essential Wi-Fi patents, and may have wide-ranging implications on other patent trials.