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Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Toshiba Corporation

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 20, 2015

INTELLECTUAL VENTURES I LLC, et al, Plaintiffs and Counterclaim-Defendants,
v.
TOSHIBA CORPORATION, et al., Defendants and Counterclaim-Plaintiffs.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

SUE L. ROBINSON, District Judge.

At Wilmington this 20th day of March, 2015, having considered plaintiffs' motion to stay and the papers filed in connection therewith;

IT IS ORDERED that said motion (D.I. 56) is granted in part and denied in part, for the reasons that follow:

1. Plaintiffs Intellectual Ventures I LLC and Intellectual Ventures II LLC (collectively, "IV") filed the above captioned lawsuit alleging that defendants Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba America, Inc., Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., and Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (collectively, "Toshiba") infringe multiple claims of ten asserted patents ("the asserted patents") ("IV's case"). In response, Toshiba filed, inter alia, a patent misuse defense and antitrust counterclaims. Rather than answer or otherwise respond by filing a pleading, IV filed the instant motion to stay consideration of such defense and counterclaims.

2. With respect to Toshiba's patent misuse defense,

Toshiba alleges that IV is using the patents-in-suit to, among other things, (1) unlawfully force Toshiba to pay for many other irrelevant patents, (2) unlawfully force Toshiba to pay for many other invalid patents, and (3) unlawfully monopolize a market for its portfolio by aggregating thousands of patents into a hold-up portfolio and using the patents-in-suit to make Toshiba pay monopoly prices for "licenses."

(D.I. 61 at 5)

3. With respect to Toshiba's antitrust counterclaim under Section I of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, Toshiba generally alleges that IV "combined and conspired with others, including Talon Research, LLC, to restrain trade and competition in the relevant market and to engage in patent hold-up in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act." More specifically, "IV agreed with Talon and others to take patents from IV's Semiconductor Portfolio' and assert them against companies that refused to succumb to IV's direct hold-up demands." ( Id. at 7)

4. With respect to Toshiba's antitrust counterclaim under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18, Toshiba alleges that

IV's semiconductor patents carried little or no market power until IV acquired and integrated them into an enormous portfolio. Now, after IV has created a patent-licensing monopoly, they bestow power on IV beyond the summed value of the individual patents.

( Id. at 8)

5. Finally, in connection with its monopolization and attempted monopolization claims under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2,

Toshiba's claims rest on IV unlawfully aggregating its claimed 3, 700 semiconductor patents to secure monopoly power that far exceeds the summed value of those patents when disaggregated. That acquisition and maintenance of monopoly power is illegal because IV acquired and is maintaining it willfully, rather than by means of superior product, business acumen or historic accident. IV combines large numbers of patents regardless of their validity precisely so that ...

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