Samsung Fails to Put to Bed Texas Patent Suit
MARSHALL, Texas (CN) - A federal judge refused to snuff out claims that Samsung's Android-powered devices infringe on a patent regarding communication alerts.
Samsung and two affiliates had been the subject of one of seven patent-infringement lawsuits Rockstar Consortium and its subsidiary Mobilestar Technologies filed last year.
The Korean tech giant moved to dismiss the first amended complaint on the basis of lack of standing and other theories, but U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap shot each argument down Thursday.
Rockstar's patent in question is for, among other things, "a method of notifying a user of an incoming communication event."
Judge Gilstrap rejected Samsung's defense that the claim was "unpatentable" because it refers to "the abstract idea of notifying a user of 'an incoming communication event.'"
"Even if the claim is as broad as defendants claim, it does not reach so far into abstraction as to be unpatentable," he wrote, adding that the claim "is clearly narrower than defendants suggest."
Samsung likewise failed to argue that the court lacks jurisdiction because Mobilestar was not registered as a foreign corporation doing business in Texas before filing suit.
Rockstar and Mobilestar filed the suit on Oct. 31, but Mobilestar, a Delaware LLC, did not register with the Texas Secretary of State until December. Texas law states that a foreign entity like Mobilestar cannot sue in Texas related to business conducted in the state "unless the foreign filing entity is registered," according to the ruling.
But Gilstrap emphasized that Mobilestar has "capacity," as opposed to "standing," to sue for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas.
"Though framed as a question of standing, the issue is really Mobilestar's capacity to sue - whether it is an entity properly able to suffer an injury and obtain a remedy in federal court," Gilstrap wrote. "If the court must treat an LLC as an unincorporated association, then it has capacity to sue 'in its common name to enforce a substantive right existing under the United States Constitution or law' even if Texas law would otherwise deny the association's capacity to sue."