Florida firm sues California corporation over alleged patent infringement

By Michelle de Leon | Jan 5, 2017

MIAMI — A Florida tech firm has filed a lawsuit against a California corporation for an alleged patent-infringement act.

Hawk Technology Systems LLC sued Goodwill of Silicon Valley, which is a part of Goodwill Industries International, for purportedly infringing on a patent registered to the Miami-based tech company. According to the lawsuit, Hawk incurred damages following the alleged infringement of GWSV. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Oct. 27.

The specific issue in question is Claim 12 of the ‘462 patent registered under Hawk Technology’s name. According to the plaintiffs, the California company used a substantially similar system without authority. Aside from their claims for damages, costs and other fees, Hawk Technology also urges the court to grant a trial before a jury to deliberate the patent-infringement case.

The plaintiffs note that the Miami firm has become the owner of all the rights, title and interest pertaining to ‘462 Patent in accordance with the assignment from a New Jersey company called Multi-Format Inc. Documents describe the ‘462 Patent as a computer-based system used to monitor and store representative images gathered from video cameras. These images could be used for security or other monitoring purposes.

In their claims, Hawk Technology pointed out that the methods and other systems used in the ‘462 Patent are all registered under the company’s name. To be specific, these were invented by owner and founder Barry Schwab along with Ken Washino. Records indicate that Hawk Technology came into being in 2012 in an effort to market the inventions of its founder. Aside from this disputed patent, Schwab is the named inventor in more than 30 patents, which range from consumer items to secure network computing.

Despite their documents, Hawk Technology was the focus of an October 2015 article on Security Today's website about “patent trolls.”

The article cited the Security Industry Association's definition of a patent troll as an entity — whether a corporation or an individual — that use “vague or overly broad patents” as the basis to get settlement money from businesses under threat of a lawsuit.

Hawk Technology has allegedly filed more than a hundred cases based only on ‘462 Patent, the article said.

“This is not new business for Hawk Technology. The name itself is somewhat deceiving because they do not manufacture any products or offer for sale any products or services,” Ralph C. Jensen said in the Security Today article.

“Formed in 2012, their business is directed to owning and enforcing the ‘462 Patent in litigation,” Jensen said. “They have been busy. To date, Hawk Technology has filed more than 115 lawsuits for infringement of the patent, and such suits have been filed in judicial districts nationwide.”

According to a lawsuit cited in the article, Hawk Technology’s strategy is to ask for a lower settlement price compared with the litigation costs. The article said that these practices are not considered illegal.

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