Samsung, Apple Win Attack on Tethering Patent

Written October 11, 2018

On September 10, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision to invalidate IXI IP LLC’s patent related to sharing an internet connection over Bluetooth because it’s obvious in light of prior inventions. IXI IP, LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Fed. Cir., No. 2017-1665, 9/10/18.

The patent in question describes systems for tethering, where one device shares its internet connection with secondary devices. Samsung and Apple filed for an administrative review of the patent in 2015 after IXI sued both companies for patent infringement. A combination of several pieces of prior research, including a patent application by inventor Laurent Marchand, made the IXI patent claims invalid, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board said.