Within 24 hours of being dismissed from a patent infringement lawsuit over USB hub tech, a Newegg subsidiary has countered with a suit of its own, seeking to ensure no further litigation will ensue against it and the sellers of its products.
In September 2015, Minero Digital, a patent-holding company in Allen, Texas, filed suit against 26 companies in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, seeking royalties for infringement of patent No. 5,675,811, entitled “Method for Transmitting Information Over an Intelligent Low Power Serial Bus.”
Some of the defendants named in the complaint included Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Wal-Mart and Rosewill – Newegg’s subsidiary.
In its suit, Minero accused Rosewill of making and selling USB hubs that infringed the ‘811 patent, issued in 1997.
Court records show that on Jan. 21 Minero filed a motion to dismiss Rosewill without prejudice, which was granted four days later.
Because the dismissal was without prejudice, Minero retained the right to bring the exact same claim against Rosewill at a later date.
On Jan. 26 Rosewill went on the offensive, filing suit against Minero in California federal court, requesting the court issue a declaration that Rosewill and the sellers of its USB hub devices, Amazon, Office Depot and Wal-Mart, have not and will not infringe any claim of the ‘811 patent.
In a Jan. 27 artechnica.com article, Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng told the publication that he doesn’t believe Rosewill’s products and customers infringed the ‘811 patent.
"Minero’s case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn’t expired,” Cheng says in the article. “Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it."
Rosewill’s suit contends Minero’s claims for infringement of a patent that expired in on Aug. 18 “are baseless and are purposely intended to harass and inflict harm.”
“Minero Digital’s actions have caused, and will cause, harm in this District by requiring residents of this District to needlessly spend resources to defend against or settle Minero Digital’s meritless claims,” the suit states.
California attorney Jenny Rim represents Rosewill.
Frisco attorney Ronald Burns represents Minero.
California case No. 2:16-cv-00552
Texas case No. 2:15-cv-01537