Zipit Wireless has filed a complaint against LG Electronics Inc. claiming copyright infringement. Zipit had filed an initial complaint in 2018 in the District Court of South Carolina. However, after the court ruled a lack of personal jurisdiction the case was moved to the District Court of New Jersey. The case will now be heard before Judge Kevin McNulty.
The complaint comes after Zipit claimed LG was infringing on two of their patents, U.S. Patent Numbers 7,894,837 and, 7,292,870 which pertain to Zipit’s proprietary Wi-Fi messaging technology. In the complaint, Zipit listed over 150 devices on which LG has used its patented technology. Zipit sent a letter to LG in 2017 warning them of their alleged infringement, but no action was taken.
Zipit Wireless is a manufacturer of wireless messaging solutions, having released their first Wi-Fi-based messaging device, the “Zipit Wireless Messenger,” in 2004. The technology to send messages over Wi-Fi was not available prior to Zipit’s initial product. Prior to Zipit’s invention, handheld devices could only send SMS text messages over a carrier’s cellular network. Zipit’s devices were popular in the healthcare industry where the devices could cut costs of previous messaging solutions where “users sending and receiving text messages typically were charged for each text, including at rates of $0.20/text.”
With the advent of smartphones, Wi-Fi messaging became a part of everyday life. According to the complaint, this has led to several companies infringing on Zipit’s intellectual property.
Zipit has previously filed against other mobile device manufacturers with successful results. In 2013 Zipit filed a similar patent infringement claim against Blackberry Corporation. Due to the technology being in wide use in wireless messaging, Blackberry attempted to fight the case by filing two different proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, both of which were dismissed. Blackberry later entered into a settlement with Zipit which ended with Blackberry licensing the patent. Similarly, in 2017 the Zipit Wireless v. Samsung Electronics lawsuit was terminated when Samsung licensed Zipit’s ʼ870 and ʼ837 patents.