Irish technology licensing firm Neodrón announced in early January that it has settled with ten of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world.
Neodrón’s litigation campaign focused on allegations of patent infringement against tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and several others with claims that the companies’ import and sale of smartphones, laptops, and tablets having advanced capacitive touchscreens infringed on patents within Neodrón’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio. Neodrón’s patents deal with “capacitive touch sensor and controller functionality for smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, smart appliances, and automotive displays”.
While Neodrón did not disclose the amount or the companies it has settled with, it noted that the settlement ends the company’s string of legal actions against tech companies since 2019 in Germany, China, the US, as well as with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
The ITC launched a probe in March 2020 concerning Neodrón’s request for exclusion orders against Apple, Amazon, Asustek, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung and Sony. The ITC complaint is separate from lawsuits Neodrón filed in US district courts since 2019 which included companies not mentioned in the ITC probe such as HP and Dell.
Neodrón, established only in 2018, is a non-practicing entity that acquires patents from other companies and uses them to file IP infringement cases. It has been aggressively filing patent infringement cases against tech companies.
The company reportedly acquired its patents concerning touchscreen technology from Microchip Technologies. It also reportedly shares directors and an address with other companies which all hold patent portfolios and have been involved in patent litigation campaigns such as Data Scape, Solas OLED, and Sonraí Memory.
Neodrón’s settlement with top tech companies highlights the risks of IP infringement. Prior art research and robust due diligence are necessary in limiting IP risks as well as recognizing opportunities in the patent landscape.