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In re Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 20, 2017

In re Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC,
v.
BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS, LLC, Defendant. MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Plaintiff, MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
COX COMMUNICATIONS, INC, Defendant.

          Brian E. Farnan, Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE Henning Schmidt, Daniel R. Scardino, Drew Zerdecki, Kyle Harter, REED & SCARDINO LLP, Austin, TX Counsel for Plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC.

          Richard L. Renck, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Wilmington, DE L. Norwood Jameson, Matthew C. Gaudet, Alison H. Hutton, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Atlanta, GA Joseph A. Powers, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Philadelphia, PA Patrick S. Salceda, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Palo Alto, CA Joshua B. Long, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Houston, TX Counsel for Defendants Bright House Networks, LLC and Cox Communications, Inc.

          Michael E. Jones, POTTER MINTON, Tyler, TX Counsel for Defendant Bright House Networks, LLC.

          Mitchell G. Stockwell, Michael J. Turton, Richard W. Goldstucker, KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP, Atlanta, GA Counsel for Defendant Cox Communications, Inc.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction filed by Defendants Bright House Networks, LLC ("BHN") and Cox Communications, Inc. ("Cox").[1](C.A. No. 16-693 D.I. 20; C.A. No. 16-695 D.I. 19)[2] For the reasons below, the Court will grant both motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         On January 4, 2016, Plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC ("MTel") filed seven suits in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (the "Eastern District of Texas"), each alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5, 590, 403 ("'403 patent"); 5, 915, 210 ("'210 patent"); and 5, 659, 891 ('"891 patent") (collectively, the "patents-in-suit" or "asserted patents").[3] The seven actions were consolidated into one lead case on April 11, 2016. (C.A. No. 16-692 D.I. 30)

         On April 13, 2016, declaratory judgment plaintiffs ARMS Group Inc. ("ARRIS") and Ubee Interactive Inc. ("Ubee") (collectively, "DJ Plaintiffs") filed separate actions against MTel in this Court, each seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement of the patents-in-suit. (C.A. No. 16-259 D.I. 1; C.A. No. 16-260 D.I. 1) On April 19, 2016, BHN filed a similar declaratory judgment action in this Court. (C.A. No. 16-277 D.I. 1)

         On May 3, 2016, MTel filed four additional lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas against four new defendants, alleging infringement of the same three patents.[4] Three of these cases were consolidated into one lead case on July 21, 2016 (C.A. No. 16-700 D.I. 6), and the fourth was added on July 29, 2016 (id. at D.I. 7). (Hereinafter, the Court refers to the 11 actions filed in the Eastern District of Texas as the "Texas Actions" and the defendants in those actions, collectively, as the "Texas Defendants.")

         DJ Plaintiffs and the Texas Defendants fall into two general categories. Ruckus, ARRIS, Ubee, Juniper, Aerohive, Brocade, HP, Firetide, and Xirrus are Wi-Fi equipment providers. Cox, BHN, Charter, and TWC are cable network operators.

         On August 5, 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("JPML") determined that centralization of the 14 actions involving MTel was appropriate, and transferred the cases to this Court for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. (Case No. 16-md-2722 ("MDL") D.I. 1)

         B. Patents-in-Suit[5]

         The patents-in-suit generally relate to wireless telecommunications. The '403 patent is entitled "Method and System for Efficiently Providing Two Way Communication Between a Central Network and Mobile Unit." The claims of the '403 patent cover methods for wirelessly simulcasting information signals. ('403 patent at 33:11-30, 34:35-62)

         The '210 patent is entitled "Method and System for Providing Multicarrier Simulcast Transmission." The claims of the '210 patent cover systems for wirelessly transmitting information via two sets of carrier signals in simulcast. ('210 patent at 33:47-62, 34:44-64, 36:7-24)

         The '891 patent is entitled "Multicarrier Techniques in Bandlimited Channels" and claims a system and methods for transmitting wireless signals using specific frequency spacing for carriers in a band-limited channel. ('891 patent at 6:4-44)

         C. Defendants' Motions

         BHN and Cox filed their motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction on March 18, 2016. (BHN D.I. 20; Cox D.I. 19) The parties completed an initial set of briefs on the motions on May 9, 2016. (BHN D.I. 20, 26, 27, 28; Cox D.I. 19, 25, 26, 27) The Court which BHN and ...


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