MPHJ Technology Files Scan-Patent Infringement Lawsuits against Four Companies, Including Coca-Cola and Dillard’s

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Photo credit: jcbwalsh / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Notorious “scan patent troll” MPHJ Technology is going after some bigger targets these days, filing lawsuits on January 3, 2014 in Delaware court against Coca-Cola and Dillard’s, as well as against two smaller companies, Unum Group and Huhtakami.

MPHJ filed its first lawsuit against a company in November 2013. Up until then, it had sent out numerous demand lawyers, typically to small companies, claiming the targeted companies were infringing upon MPHJ scan patents and demanding $1,000 per worker for damages. Attorney generals in both Vermont and Nebraska have sought to take action against MPHJ, and Xerox, Ricoh, and Hewlett-Packard are seeking to invalidate the patents applications with the U.S. Patent Office, while Canon and Sharp have negotiated deals with MPHJ to protect their customers.

As with the November 2013 lawsuit, MPHJ’s complaint describes the companies’ IT infrastructure based upon publicly available information. For instance, it says Coca-Cola transmits “electronic images, graphics and/or documents via a communications network from a network addressable scanner, digital copier, or other multifunction peripheral,” which it says infringes upon MPHJ patents.

The lawsuits claim that two patents, 8,488,173 and 7,477,410, are infringed because the companies use Lexmark and Xerox printers and MFPs. The patents were issued in 2013 and 2009 respectively, but were filed in 1996, when they were invented by Laurence Klein, who then sold the patents.

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