On Monday, Law360 reported that Inventergy, Inc. has sued Apple, Inc., maker of our beloved iPhones, for allegedly infringing eight patents relating to communication equipment, base station equipment, and mobile phone's communication methods. Apple has been on notice of these claims since Inventergy approached them in January of 2015 and offered a nonexclusive license on "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms." Apple refused to enter such an agreement.
We are all familiar with Apple - the manufacturer and brains behind our iPhones, Macbooks, and iPads. Inventergy, on the other hand, is less known to the general public. It is led by Joe Beyers, the former head of intellectual property at Hewlett Packard, Inc. According to their website, they are an "'A-Team' of professionals who assist corporations in getting greater value from your inventions and ideas." In addition to these eight patents, Inventergy also holds a portfolio of approximately 500 patents obtained from Panasonic for mobile communication and wireless technology, and "hundreds" of wireless technology patents from Huawei Technologies Company and Nokia Corporation. Its executives have backgrounds in intellectual property work, research and development, and previous executive experience.
Neither of these companies is a stranger to litigation. I wrote in October of last year about the $300 million verdict Apple was hit with in its case against VirnetX in the Eastern District of Texas. Likewise, Inventergy has been fighting Sonus Networks, Inc. in a California court over seven of its patents obtained from Huawei and Nokia. In that case, Inventergy is attempting to enforce a licensing agreement worth around $24 million, but Sonus argues the patents are not invalid, and even if they were, that they are not infringing upon them.
Many of my articles the past few months have dealt with intellectual property issues surrounding technology, and this case is no different. Wireless telecommunication is a hot topic right now, and don't expect that to change any time soon.