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Sony invalidates another former Huawei patent acquired by NPE

Post Time:2024-06-04 Source:CIPToday Author: Views:

Sony (China) Limited has invalidated a digital TV program switching patent originally owned by Huawei, according to an announcement by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on May 14.

The patent, titled "A Method for Switching Digital TV Programs and Digital TV Device" (ZL200710079488.1), was acquired by Global Innovation Aggregators, LLC from Huawei. A CNIPA panel declared the patent invalid due to a lack of inventiveness.

Huawei filed this patent in 2007, which involves a method for switching digital TV programs and focuses on improvements in Video On Demand (VOD) services. The panel found that evidence provided by Sony, particularly US20050028197A1, a VOD patent filed by Microsoft in 2005, disclosed most of the technical features of the disputed patent. When combined with US7127735B1, a patent filed by LG in 2006, the technical solution of the patent was deemed obvious in light of the prior art. Therefore, the patent was ruled to lack inventiveness.

Global Innovation Aggregators, LLC, a non-practicing entity (NPE) based in the United States, acquired over 1,000 patents from Huawei and ZTE through its subsidiary iPLE. However, many of these patents have lapsed due to non-payment of fees and invalidation.

Reports indicate that Global Innovation Aggregators has sued several well-known companies in Chinese courts using the patents acquired from Huawei and ZTE, including HP, Google, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, NetEase, Belkin, and Asus. The NPE has also attempted to monetize its patents through administrative rulings from IP offices across China, but these efforts have largely been unsuccessful.

Prior to this case, several patents acquired from Huawei by Global Innovation Aggregators had been invalidated by CNIPA. In February, Google successfully invalidated a home security-related patent, and last August, an individual invalidated a video conferencing-related patent.