InNova Patent Licensing LLC files infringement lawsuit against thirty-six companies over email spam patent

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Texas-based InNova Patent Licensing LLC has filed a broad lawsuit against thirty-six defendants accusing them of infringement upon an email spam patent that was granted to InNova founder Robert Uomini. The patent describes a method of identifying incoming email as spam by using external context information obtained from the sender and according to Christopher Banys, lead counsel for InNova, it is “one of the building blocks for all email communications”. The thirty-six defendants are a motley crew and include technology giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo, RIM, and HP, retail giants like JCPenney Co., food manufacturers such as Frito-lay and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc, and finance stalwarts including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Company. Full press release is after the jump.

The Lanier Law Firm Files Infringement Lawsuit Over Email Spam Patent


MARSHALL, Texas, July 21 /PRNewswire/ — The Lanier Law Firm is announcing a patent infringement lawsuit filed on behalf of Longview, Texas-based InNova Patent Licensing LLC against a group of 36 corporate defendants accused of infringing an InNova patent that represents one of the cornerstones of email communications.

The lawsuit, filed July 20, 2010, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, names some of the world’s most recognizable companies as defendants, including iPhone maker Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), retailer JCPenney Co. (NYSE: JCP), search engine giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and others. The case is InNova Patent Licensing, LLC v. 3Com Corporation, et al., No. 2:10-cv-00251.

The federal lawsuit focuses on a revolutionary InNova patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,018,761, that covers technology used to differentiate between spam email messages and those that users actually want to receive. The InNova patent was awarded to inventor and mathematician Robert Uomini nearly 15 years ago when Internet email was still in its formative stages. Mr. Uomini is the founder of InNova.

Patent-infringement attorney Christopher Banys, lead counsel for InNova, says the company’s patent is one of the building blocks for all email communications. InNova’s complaint alleges that the defendant companies have used InNova’s invention without permission for years.

“Email as we know it would essentially stop working if it weren’t for InNova’s invention,” says Mr. Banys, who leads The Lanier Law Firm’s national intellectual property practice. “More than 80 percent of email is spam, which is why companies use InNova’s invention rather than forcing employees to wade through billions of useless emails. Unfortunately, the defendants appear to be profiting from this invention without any consideration for InNova’s legal patent rights.”

In addition to Apple, JCPenney and Google, the lawsuit also names as defendants 3Com Corporation; Alcatel-Lucent Holding, Inc.; American International Group, Inc.; AOL, Inc.; Bank of America Corporation; Capital One Auto Finance, Inc.; Capital One Financial Corporation; Cinemark, Inc.; Cinemark Holdings, Inc.; Citigroup, Inc.; Crossmark, Inc.; Dell, Inc.; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.; Ericsson, Inc.; Frito-Lay, Inc.; Frito-Lay North America, Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Company; HP Enterprise Services, LLC; International Business Machines Corporation; J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc.; J.C. Penney Life Insurance Company; J.C. Penney Mexico, Inc.; J.C. Penney Reinsurance Company; JCP Publications Corp.; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; McAfee, Inc.; Perot Systems Corporation; Rent-A-Center, Inc.; Research in Motion Corporation; Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; Wells Fargo & Company; and Yahoo!, Inc.

With offices in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Houston and New York, The Lanier Law Firm is committed to addressing client concerns with effective and innovative solutions in courtrooms across the country. The firm is composed of outstanding trial attorneys with decades of experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical liability, asbestos exposure, intellectual property, business litigation, product liability, toxic exposure and maritime law.

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