Abstract: Daedalus Blue after acquiring 500 patents from IBM in the year 2019, now files a suit against Oracle for Patent Infringement in Western District of Texas. However, this isn’t the first time when Daedalus is filing a suit for infringement; it also filed a case in the same court against a Chinese Drone Company SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. for the infringement of three of its patents. The infringement by Oracle might have roots in Sun Microsystems which is Oracle America Inc. Since, Daedalus Blue controls hundreds of patent of IBM; soon we will see a substantial rise in cases with healthy business being the infringer of patents.
The latest transaction of IBM where it divested a large chunk of assets from its portfolio to Daedalus Group LLC, headed by Ed Gomez a former Altitude Capital and Walker Innovation executive, for a hefty price of $9 million has stood out in particular because of the USPTO assignment document. The transfer of 500 US assets to the NPE Daedalus has granted it the ownership and the assignment document covers the name of companies who are unlicensed or licensed to the portfolio.[i] The assignment document clearly reveals more about the patents than in customary and hence the transfer stands out in particular. The rights over the assets were transferred in the month of September and the assignment document was recorded in mid-November of 2019.
Now, just after a few months of the big transfer, NPE Daedalus Blue has filed an infringement suit against database giant Oracle. The non practicing entity in its complaint claimed that “the novel inventions disclosed in the Asserted Patents were invented by IBM”.[ii] They also wrote that “the five patents asserted in this case are the result of the work from 15 different IBM researchers, spanning a period of nearly a decade”.[iii]
However, this is not the first time when Daedalus is filing a case for patent infringement, after the massive IBM transfer it filed its first infringement suit involving the drone navigation against SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. in the Western District of Texas for infringing three of its patent.[iv] The assignment document revealed that the Chinese company was not a licensee to the patents so it must have been on NPE’s radar for quite a time.
According to the case against Oracle, each of the patents-in-suit relates to networking, storage and security in cloud based environment. The case has been filed against Oracle Corporation with its office in Texas and Oracle America, Inc. under the Patent laws of United Sates in the Western District of Texas. The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 6,920,494 entitled “Storage Area Network Methods and Apparatus with Virtual SAN Recognition”, Patent No. 7,177,886 entitled “Apparatus and Method for Coordinating Logical Data Replication with Highly Available Data Replication”, Patent No. 8,572,612 entitled “Automatic Scaling of Virtual Machines in a Cloud Computing Environment”, Patent No. 8,671,132 entitled “System, Method and Apparatus for Policy-Based Data Management” and Patent No. 99,032,076 entitled “Role-Based Access Control System, Method and Computer Program Product”.
The Patent No. 6,920,494 was issued by USPTO on July 19th, 2005 and aims for improving the monitoring and discovery of network components and their topology which allows the users to monitor the networks and components more efficiently.[v] In the year 2007, USPTO issued the Patent No. 7,177,886 which provides for safe data replication in Distributed database systems, through this apparatus the data storage techniques are considerably improved and the backup of data files are more reliable.[vi] On October 29th, 2013, the United States Patent and Trademark Office duly issued the Patent No. 8,572,612 for the improvement of cloud computing environment through autonomic scaling of virtual machines (VM).[vii] The Patent No. 8,671,132[viii] issued in 2014 and Patent No. 9,032,076[ix] issued in 2015 deals with an improved policy based data management system and access control systems based on the assignment of roles and super roles to groups of users respectively.[x]
The Sun Microsystems, Inc. was acquired by Oracle on January 28th, 2010 for $7.4 billion and is now Oracle America, Inc., a subsidiary of the Oracle Corporation.[xi] It is believed that some of the accused technology which infringes the Asserted Patents has its roots in the products which were developed by the Sun Microsystems.
Since, Daedalus owns and controls hundreds of former IBM patents, and a substantial number of healthy businesses are not licensed to these patents, we can presume that patent sector will categorically see a large number of suits filed by NPE Daedalus like the one against Oracle where the NPE has asked for Jury Trial.
Author: Ruchika Singh, a 3rd-year student of Symbiosis Law School, Noida, and intern at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at email@example.com.