Flexiworld Accuses Epson of Infringing its Patents
Attorneys for Flexiworld Technologies, Inc. (Flexiworld) have fronted up to US District Court for the Central District of California on April 29, 2021, demanding a “trial by jury on all issues triable of right by a jury” against Epson America Inc (Epson).
Flexiworld claims Epson “directly and/or indirectly infringed” 14 of its patents that were invented jointly by William H. Chang and Christina Ying Liu. Court documents state Chang “has been granted over 88 United States patents and over 100 patents worldwide on his inventions” and Liu “has been granted over 65 United States patents and over 75 patents worldwide on her inventions.” Court documents are publicly available.
In a curious turn of events, Canon was also sued by Flexiworld for patent infringement on February 11, 2021, and has since dropped the case. In that matter, Canon was accused of infringing five of Flexiworld’s patents that all involve wireless printing in Canon’s imageClass and imageRunner wireless printers.
In this current case against Epson, Flexiworld also accuses the printer OEM of infringing its wireless patents used in certain Epson printers that use Bluetooth and wireless technologies. Some patents relate to physical technologies while others include software applications.
The 14 patents impacted include United States Patent Nos. 7,609,402 (“the ’402 Patent”), 8,630,000 (“the ’000 Patent”), 9,036,181 (“the ’181 Patent”), 10,037,178 (“the ’178 Patent”), 10,140,071 (“the ’071 Patent”), 10,140,073 (“the ’073 Patent”), 10,481,846 (“the ’846 Patent”), 10,481,847 (“the ʼ847 patent”), 10,642,576 (“the ’576 Patent”), 10,740,066 (“the ’066 Patent”), 10,761,791 (“the ’791 Patent”), 10,768,871 (“the ’871 Patent”), 10,846,031 (“the ’031 Patent”), and 10,873,856 (“the ’856 Patent”), (collectively, the “Patents-in-Suit”).
Flexiworld is seeking a judgment and order requiring Epson to pay it reasonable ongoing royalties on a going-forward basis after final judgments well as for damages and court costs; and f. Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
Who is Flexiworld?
According to its website, Flexiworld was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2001 by William Ho Chang. Chang was previously an inventor for Sharp. “Flexiworld is a pioneer and a leading provider of pervasive wireless technologies,” the website reads.
“The company develops wireless applications and embedded solutions for the fast-growing short-range wireless (Bluetooth®, WiFi and IrDA) and mobile device market. Flexiworld has filed over 30 patents in this booming wireless applications market segment, and the company’s engineering team has developed FlexiCore™, a robust wireless applications platform based on its patent portfolio.”
However, the website also appears to be somewhat inactive, as the most recent press release in the news section is dated October 7, 2005.
Only the patents section has any recent listings, with patents added in late 2019. And they have been active in litigating over its patents with other recognizable names. In June 2020, Flexiworld targeted Amazon in a suit claiming infringement on patents through the sale of Amazon Echo smart speakers and related smart devices. The complaint, which was also filed in the U.S. District Court for Western Texas, states that infringement can be found in “its Echo Buds, Echo Devices, Echo Show Devices, Fire Tablets, and/or Fire TV Devices.”
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