Comcast, HBO, others hit with mobile app patent suit


ComcastComcast, Home Box Office, Dropbox and eight others were hit with patent infringement suits 9/15 in Texas federal court by MacroSolve Inc., which claims in its latest wave of suits that the companies’ mobile apps steal its data management technology.

The mobile app consulting company says that Comcast, HBO and Dropbox have incorporated technology in their respective mobile phone apps that infringes U.S. Patent Number 7,822,816, which covers a system and method for data management. The suits also target Wyndham Hotel Group, Meetup Inc., MediaFire, Five Guys Enterprises, Discover Financial Services, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Box and Carlson Hotels, reports Law360.

MacroSolve says the ‘816 patent involves methods for transmitting questionnaires to a mobile device for the purpose of collecting data and creating a system by which information can be transmitted to and from devices regardless of the programming language or operating system of the receiving device.

In addition to the unlicensed use of MacroSolve’s patented technology in their apps, the offending companies induce consumers to infringe the patent by encouraging them to download apps, the suit says.

The suits seek damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and an injunction barring the companies from further infringement. Thursday’s barrage is just the latest of several dozen suits MacroSolve has filed in Texas since 2011 in defense of the ‘816 patent.

In February, MacroSolve lobbed infringement suits at Nordstrom Inc., Pandora Media Inc., Staples Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Fandango Inc., among others. Last year, the company sued LinkedIn Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Walgreen Co., Home Depot USA Inc., Facebook Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Hyatt Corp., Yelp Inc., Newegg Inc. and dozens of others.

Although MacroSolve is presently waging litigation in about two dozen cases, it has had success in securing licensing agreements or winning royalties from its litigation, according to regulatory filings.

MacroSolve vice chairman Jim McGill told Law360 last year that the company could likely target 700 to 1,000 infringing defendants and that he and MacroSolve’s attorneys are “working our way through the names.”

See the Law360 story here