Canon Celebrates Victory Over Patent Trolls

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

Canon Inc. and Canon U.S.A., Inc. today announced “final victory” in their defense of a long-term patent dispute involving Technology Properties Limited LLC (TPL) and MCM Portfolio LLC (MCM), two non-practicing entities otherwise known as “patent trolls.”

Canon explained that, in March 2012, plaintiffs TPL and MCM commenced litigation against Canon in both the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the in U.S. District Court, alleging that nearly 200 Canon products infringed on U.S. patents relating to flash-memory card readers.

In December 2013, Canon prevailed at the ITC on grounds of non-infringement. Additionally, in September 2016, the district court ruled in Canon’s favor and held that none of Canon’s accused products infringe on any of the asserted claims of the patents-in-suit. Canon then sought—and was awarded—its attorneys’ fees in the amount of nearly $1.8 million.

In early 2017, plaintiffs TPL and MCM appealed both the district court’s ruling and the fees award to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On April 11, 2018, the Federal Circuit affirmed both the district court’s non-infringement determination and its award of attorneys’ fees, and plaintiffs TPL and MCM chose not to appeal the affirmance to the Supreme Court, resulting in an across-the-board victory for Canon.

The Federal Circuit’s decision caps six years of litigation during which Canon says it successfully defended its products at nearly every level of the U.S. judicial system. Canon states that it recognizes and respects intellectual property rights, but as this litigation demonstrates, it “also remains committed to vigorously defending itself against false and frivolous allegations of infringement of others’ intellectual property.”

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