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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Deeper Look at Acacia

When I started this blog, I was under the impression that the Constellation group of companies (Plutus, Orion, Taurus, Constellation, etc.) was the largest patent troll. And in terms of cases filed and defendants sued in the Eastern District of Texas, that is certainly true.

But looking at the actual number of patent holding company subsidiaries and/or lawsuits filed, there's even a bigger patent troll - Acacia. TrollTracker has compiled this list of all Acacia subsidiaries and the cases they have filed. This list is a minimum list: it is possible that Acacia has or had subsidiaries that I have not been able to locate.

What I have found, though, is astounding. Acacia has sued hundreds of defendants in 213 different patent lawsuits brought by 36 different Acacia subsidiaries. That's right - they have sued in 36 different names! By doing so, Acacia, a publicly traded company, has increased its market cap by tenfold, going from a 35M company in early 2003 to a 350M company today. Yet, even thought Acacia's primary corporate mission is to file patent lawsuits, it has largely escaped negative publicity, with some going as far as to paint them as "The Belle of the Ball." Acacia has spent money to buy and buy and buy, more patent portfolios, more patent holding companies - even TechSearch, the original company that caused Peter Detkin to coin the phrase "patent troll." Certainly a public company that has filed at least 213 patent lawsuits deserves increased scrutiny. TrollTracker will be making an effort to fill that void.

To start, here is the breakdown of the cases known to be affiliated with Acacia:

4 cases involving Acacia subsidiaries IP Innovation LLC, Technology Licensing Corp., New Medium Technologies & AV Technologies, LLC. Niro Scavone represents Acacia in these. Filings are in Chicago.

106 cases where Acacia Media Technology Group or Acacia Research (or another Acacia entity) is first-named plaintiff or first-named declaratory judgment defendant. Didn't look at all, but Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman representing Acacia in most cases if not all. Most cases filed in Orange County, California.

3 cases involving Acacia subsidiary Broadcast Data Retrieval Corp., in New York and Los Angeles. Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman representing Acacia in 2 of them.

2 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Broadcast Innovation, LLC. Texas attorneys Ed Goldstein and the folks at Friedman, Suder & Cooke working for Acacia, even though the cases are in Colorado.

1 case brought by Acacia subsidiary Computer Acceleration Corp., in Lufkin, Texas. McKool Smith of Dallas leading the way for Acacia here.

4 cases involving Acacia subsidiary Computer Cache Coherency Corp., in tandem with Acacia subsidiary Financial Systems Innovation LLC. 3 brought in San Jose and 1 in Los Angeles. Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman representing Acacia.

1 case filed by Acacia subsidiary Computer Docking Station Corp., against Toshiba, Dell and Gateway in Madison, Wisconsin. Defendants won on summary judgment of noninfringement, with Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman representing Acacia. Vinson & Elkins, Dechert, and Knobbe Martens teamed to defeat Acacia in Madison. Madison hasn't been that friendly to patent trolls, by the way, but that's a subject for another post.

1 case filed by Acacia subsidiary Contacts Synchronization Corp., in Madison, Wisconsin, versus 16 defendants. This time, Acacia turned to Hahn, Loeser & Parks, of Cleveland, Ohio. Defendants have moved to transfer to the Northern District of California. Recently, another group of defendants in Gemini IP Technologies (one of the Constellations) v. Hewlett-Packard was successful in transfering a case from the Western District of Wisconsin to the Northern District of California. But that was Judge Shabaz, and Acacia's case is with Judge Crabb. We'll see if she is as eager to transfer troll cases out of Madison as Judge Shabaz is.

1 case filed by Acacia subsidiary Data Encryption Corp. against Dell and Microsoft, in Los Angeles. Hennigan Bennett & Dorman did the honors, completely blowing it for Acacia, in that defendants won summary judgment of noninfringement. Defendants represented by Fish & Richardson (Microsoft) and Jones Day (Dell).

1 case filed by Acacia subsidiary Data Innovation LLC (Bartlit Beck of Chicago representing Acacia) against Time Warner (Kaye Scholer) in the Western District of Texas.

1 case brought by Acacia subsidiary Diagnostic Systems Corp. against 7 defendants including Symantec. Rutan & Tucker representing Acacia in the Central District of California.

2 cases filed in Texarkana, Texas by Acacia subsidiary Disc Link Corp. About 32 defendants named. Friedman, Suder & Cooke of Fort Worth, Texas leading the way for Acacia.

10 cases brought by Acacia subsidiary Financial Systems Innovation LLC, including the one discussed in a recent post with 108 defendants. Most of these cases brought in the Northern District of Georgia. Friedman Suder & Cooke on these for Acacia.

1 case brought by Acacia subsidiary Fluid Dynamics Corp. in Marshall, Texas. 8 defendants. Simon Passanante of St. Louis is the firm representing Acacia there.

4 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Information Technology Innovation, LLC. 2 cases brought in Chicago by Niro Scavone, one case in Marshall, Texas by Friedman Suder & Cooke, and 1 case brought in Colorado.

6 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary InternetAd Systems LLC against 30 defendants. All cases brought in Dallas by Friedman Suder & Cooke.

18 cases (other than the ones mentioned above) brought solely by Acacia subsidiary IP Innovations, LLC. These were filed all over - Dallas, Houston, Chicago. Firms were Friedman Suder & Cook, Goldstein Fawcett, and Niro Scavone. And maybe more.

1 case brought in Dallas by Acacia subsidiary KY Data Systems LLC against 3 defendants. Goldstein Fawcett and Friedman Suder & Cooke.

4 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Micromesh Technology Corp. 2 cases in San Francisco, 2 in Marshall, Texas. Acacia represented in all 4 by Venable LLP.

2 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Microprocessor Enhancement Corp., 1 in Los Angeles, 1 in the OC. Acacia represented by Hennigan Bennett & Dorman.

1 case recently brought by Acacia subsidiary Mobile Traffic Systems Corp. against 4 defendants, including Magellan Navigation. Defendants just served. Case brought in Huntsville, Alabama, by Thomas Kayden of Atlanta.

1 case filed by Acacia subsidiary Product Activation Corp. in Marshall, Texas against 3 defendants. Friedman Suder & Cooke represented Acacia.

2 cases involving Acacia subsidiary Resource Scheduling Corp. 1 case filed in Marshall, Texas, and the other a declaratory judgment action brought in Wilmington, Delaware. Friedman, Suder & Cooke on both.

1 case brought by Safety Braking Corp., a subsidiary of Acacia, in Delaware, against numerous defendants. Connolly Bove represents Acacia.

Acacia subsidiary Screentone Systems Corp. has filed 1 case, just last week, in Marshall, Texas. Friedman, Suder & Cooke represents Acacia.

2 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Soundview Technologies Inc., 1 in Chicago and 1 in Las Vegas, both by Niro Scavone.

1 case brought by Acacia subsidiary Spreadsheet Automation Corp. in Marshall, Texas. Friedman Suder & Cooke.

19 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary TechSearch LLC, in various places, but the vast majority in Chicago by Niro Scavone.

Telematics Corp., an Acacia subsidiary, sued a slew of defendants in 1 case filed this year in Atlanta by Thomas Kayden.

8 cases brought by Acacia subsidiary VData LLC, mainly in Minneapolis, but with Friedman Suder & Cooke coordinating them.

1 case filed by Automated Facilities Management Corp., who TrollTracker thinks is an Acacia subsidiary. See August 7th post. Joseph Zito representing plaintiff.

1 case filed by Parallel Processing Corp., who TrollTracker thinks is an Acacia subsidiary. See August 6th post (#79). Simon Passanante representing Acacia.

1 case filed by Creative Internet Advertising Corp., who TrollTracker thinks is an Acacia subsidiary. See August 6th post (#80). Simon Passanante representing Acacia.


Lori said...

Thank you for taking on the difficult task of identifying Acacia's many subsidiaries, a list which Acacia has not published presumably in an effort to conceal the true extent of its dark business model. Acacia has a lot of people fooled. This most informative piece goes a long way in exposing this troll-of-the-worse-kind for what it really is.

Anonymous said...

On one of their recent SEC filings (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/934549/000101968707002404/acacia_10q-063007.htm) they list a number of the subsidiaries:

· Acacia Global Acquisition Corporation
· Acacia Media Technologies Corporation
· Acacia Patent Acquisition Corporation
· Acacia Technologies Services Corporation
· Automated Facilities Management Corporation
· AV Technologies LLC
· Broadcast Data Retrieval Corporation
· Broadcast Innovation LLC
· Computer Acceleration Corporation
· Computer Cache Coherency Corporation
· Computer Docking Station Corporation
· Contacts Synchronization Corporation
· Creative Internet Advertising Corporation
· Credit Card Fraud Control Corporation
· Database Structures Inc.
· Data Encryption Corporation
· Data Innovation LLC
· Diagnostic Systems Corporation
· Digital Security Systems Corporation
· Disc Link Corporation
· Email Link Corporation
· Financial Systems Innovation LLC
· Fluid Dynamics Corporation
· High Resolution Optics Corporation
· Hospital Systems Corporation

· Information Technology Innovation LLC
· InternetAd LLC
· IP Innovation LLC
· KY Data Systems LLC
· Location Based Services Corporation
· Micromesh Technology Corporation
· Microprocessor Enhancement Corporation
· Mobile Traffic Systems Corporation
· New Medium LLC
· Parallel Processing Corporation
· Parking Security Systems Corporation
· Peer Communications Corporation
· Priority Access Solutions Corporation
· Product Activation Corporation
· Refined Recommendations Corporation
· Remote Video Camera Corporation
· Resource Scheduling Corporation
· Safety Braking Corporation
· Screentone Systems Corporation
· Secure Access Corporation
· Soundview Technologies LLC
· Spreadsheet Automation Corporation
· TechSearch LLC
· Telematics Corporation
· VData LLC