MANHASSET, N.Y. Processor developer and IP company Patriot Scientific Corp. has been named a defendant in five declaratory judgment lawsuits filed in the Federal District Court in Oakland, Calif., by a group of 20 Japanese electronics manufacturers.
The plaintiffs seek a declaration that three patents jointly owned by Patriot Scientific, Technology Properties Ltd. Inc., and Charles H. Moore are not infringed by those electronics manufacturers, and that the subject patents are invalid.
These declaratory judgment lawsuits seek a determination by the Oakland court of the identical claims asserted against them in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Technology Properties, on behalf of Patriot Scientific, Technology Properties and Charles Moore, in the Eastern District of Texas in October.
Patriot chose Technology Properties to handle the litigation after dropping its own patent lawsuit
against Japanese companies Fujitsu Computer Systems Inc., Matsushita Electric Corp. of America, NEC Solutions (America) Inc., Sony Electronics Inc. and Toshiba America Inc.
"The transparent objective of these declaratory judgment lawsuits is to have the infringement claims determined in the California court, rather than in the Texas court where the local rules of the court make it highly likely that the patent infringement claims will be brought to trial within about one year," according to David Pohl, Patriot Scientific chief executive, and chairman, in a statement.
"We have referred the Oakland declaratory judgment lawsuits to our attorneys," Pohl added. “These reactive lawsuits by this group of electronics manufacturers appear to be a strategic move to delay resolution of the patent infringement lawsuits brought against them. We are disappointed that these electronics manufacturers continue to resist a reasonable license; however, given that resistance, we are not surprised that they are attempting to delay resolution of the lawsuit.
Patriot Scientific (San Diego), has been pursuing multiple semiconductor and computer companies claiming that its patents cover technologies essential to modern processor design. Besides the Japanese companies, Patriot has tangled with Intel Corp. over microprocessor patents, though the company eventually agreed to license its MMP portfolio to the microprocessor giant.
Possibly trying to avoid litigation, Intel’s rival AMD Inc. agreed to its license Patriot’s stack-based microprocessor patents and made a strategic investment in the firm.
Patriot has also had a contentious past with Technology Properties. In June 2005, both companies agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture to settle litigation between them. Besides agreeing to equally share net licensing and enforcement revenues, Patriot granted Technology Properties exclusive rights to enforce and license the MMP portfolio patents jointly owned by the companies.
Global sales of end products deploying chips using technologies protected by the joint patents are estimated exceed $200 billion annually.