Walker Digital LLC Sues Over 100 Major Companies For Patent Infringement
April 1, 2011
Victor Krichker and Maya Medeiros
In April 2011, Walker Digital LLC filed over 20 separate patent infringement suits against over 100 major companies. Walker Digital LLC owns a patent portfolio of hundreds of issued patents and applications in the U.S., and other industrialized countries. The patent portfolio covers a wide range of technologies including online advertising, gaming, online auctions, mapping services, vending, credit cards, entertainment and e-commerce.
Walker Digital LLC is a research and development company founded by Jay Walker, who is listed as lead inventor on many patents in the portfolio. Jay Walker is best known for founding Priceline.com, an online travel service with a reported market value of $22 billion.
The flood of patent suits detailed below highlights how research and development companies, such as Walker Digital, are more commonly and aggressively seeking a return on their patent portfolio investment by targeting the core products of major technology companies. Companies like Walker Digital are not small players but have deep pockets that rival many of the major technology companies that are defendants in these suits.
On April 26, 2011, Walker Digital filed a complaint alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,933,893 directed to online advertising by Google Advertising Programs, Microsoft Advertising Service, Amazon.com’s targeted ads service, Yahoo’s Smart Ads service and Vibrant’s In-Text Ads service.
On April 25, 2011, a complaint was filed against gaming companies alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,225,486 and 6,425,828 directed to multi-player electronic tournaments. The products at issue include Microsoft’s Halo 3; Electronic Arts’ FIFA Soccer 11, Madden NFL 11, and NHL 11; and Sega’s Aliens vs. Predator, Capcom’s Super Street Fighter IV, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
Walker Digital filed two complaints on April 22, 2011. One suit is against Apple and Disney, among others, for allegedly infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,263,505 for supplying supplemental information for video programs, such as photos, behind the scenes videos, and character information, using an iPad. The other suit is against Amazon.com alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,970,470 for subscription management services by Amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save.
The first major wave of suits was brought on April 11, 2011, with over ten complaints filed against more than 100 companies. One suit alleges infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,199,014 for driving direction services by Apple’s iPhone with GPS, BMW’s Navigation Systems, Google Maps, Mapquest’s Mapping and Directions, Microsoft’s Bing Maps, Samsung’s Galaxy and others. Another suit alleges infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,801,802 for online ad auctions by Google’s Adwords, Yahoo’s Search Advertising service, and Microsoft’s Advertising adCentre. A further suit alleges patent infringement by Expedia Inc., Facebook and eBay for e-commerce services.
These April suits are not the first filed by Walker Digital. Other ongoing cases include one suit relating to gaming technology involving Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Zygna’s social networking games including Mafia Wars and Vampire Wars. Another suit is against Capital One for customizable credit services, and another suit against Microsoft over Word’s online functionality.
Victor Krichker, B.Sc. (Civil Eng.), LL.B., is a partner with Bereskin & Parr LLP and is the leader of the Electrical & Computer Technology Practice group. He can be reached in Toronto at 416.957.1699 or email@example.com.
Maya Medeiros, B.Sc. (Comp. Sci. & Math), LL.B., is an associate lawyer in Bereskin & Parr LLP's Electrical & Computer Technology Practice group. She can be reached in Toronto at 416.957.1688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content shared on Bereskin & Parr’s website is for information purposes only. It should not be taken as legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please contact a Bereskin & Parr LLP professional. We will be pleased to help you.