18th September 2012 (0 Comments)

By Stewart Bishop

Law360, New York (September 05, 2012, 3:24 PM ET) —Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Tuesday settled a pair of patent actions brought in Texas federal court and the U.S. International Trade Commission by patent-holding company Anu IP LLC, ending allegations that the tech giant infringed a patent covering retractable USB devices.

Anu and Samsung agreed to dismiss the suit in Texas with prejudice, and both moved for the ITC to terminate its investigation as it relates to Samsung pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement, according to court documents.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anu first brought the Texas and ITC actions against Samsung and more than 30 others — including Toshiba America Inc., Yamaha Corp., Office Depot Inc., Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., Olympus Corp. of the Americas and Lexar Media Inc. — in April, claiming the companies infringed one or both of two patents it holds for mobile data storage products, also known as thumb drives.

Anu accused the companies of manufacturing, selling and importing a range of devices, including cameras, camcorders, MP3 players and flash memory drives that utilize the functions of a retractable USB thumb drive.

The patent-in-suit in the Samsung case, U.S. Patent Number 7,090,515, covers technology for flash memory devices with retractable USB connectors.

Anu “has been damaged by [Samsung’s] infringement of the ‘515 patent … and has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable loss and injury unless [Samsung is] permanently enjoined from infringing the ‘515 patent,” Anu said in its Texas complaint.

Anu, which was founded in 2011, said in its complaint that Ennova Direct Inc. transferred ownership of the patent-in-suit so that Anu could continue to enforce the patented technology developed by Ennova.

According to Ennova Direct, which developed the patent, devices covered under the ‘515 patent include a spring-loaded connector retraction system.

Prior to transferring ownership of its portfolio of retractable-connector USB patents to Anu in 2011, Ennova pursued a number of patent enforcement lawsuits against retractable-thumb-drive makers.

Most recently, the company settled suits against Sony Electronics Corp., Philips Electronics North America, A-Data Technology Co. and Kingston Technology Corp. in 2010.

An attorney for Anu, Andrew W. Spangler of Spangler & Fussell PC, on Wednesday told Law360 all he could say in connection with the end of the cases was that Samsung has a license to certain Anu patents.

Representatives for Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent Number 7,090,515.

Anu is represented by James A. Fussell III and Andrew W. Spangler of Spangler & Fussell PC, and Demetrios Anaipakos, Amir Alavi and Steve Mitby of Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos Alavi & Mensing PC.

Samsung is represented by Michael J. McKeon, Joseph V. Colaianni Jr., Brian Livedalen and Jerry T. Yen of Fish & Richardson PC.

The Texas case is Anu IP LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., case number 2:12-cv-00216, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The ITC case is In re: Certain Electronic Devices Having a Retractable USB Connector, investigation number 337-TA-843, in the U.S. International Trade Commission.

–Additional reporting by Megan Leonhardt and Gavin Broady. Editing by Jeremy Barker.

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