United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants HTC America, Inc.
and HTC Corporation's (collectively,
“Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. # 18.
Plaintiff Ancora Technologies, Inc. (“Ancora”)
opposes the Motion. Dkt. # 30. Having considered the
submissions of the parties, the relevant portions of the
record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that oral
argument is unnecessary. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss. Dkt. # 18.
alleges that Defendants have infringed and are continuing to
infringe “at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 6, 411,
941 (“the ‘941 Patent”) by making, offering
for sale or use, and/or selling, distributing, promoting or
providing for use by others in this district and elsewhere in
the United States, products including, but not limited to,
the HTC One M7, HTC One Mini, HTC One Max, HTC One M8, HTC
One mini 2, HTC Desire 620, HTC One M9, HTC One M8s, HTC One
A9 and HTC 10 (“Accused Devices”).” Dkt. #
1 ¶ 13.
asserts the ‘941 Patent which is entitled,
“Method of Restricting Software Operation Within A
License Limitation.” Dkt. # 19 Ex. A. It was issued on
June 25, 2002 and a reexamination certificate was issued on
June 1, 2010. The ‘941 Patent purports to improve on
prior art by providing a different method of identifying and
restricting an unauthorized software program's operation.
Id. at 4. The specification describes previous
methods of checking license coverage of software as
vulnerable to hacking, or expensive and inconvenient to
distribute. Id. The ‘941 Patent teaches a
method and system of preventing unauthorized use of software
by checking whether a software program is licensed and
stopping the program or taking other action if it is not. The
license verification “key” is stored in a
computer's “Basic Input/Output System”
(“BIOS”). The patent specification states that
the level of programming expertise needed to alter the
contents of a computer's BIOS without accidentally
damaging it is very high, making it harder for a hacker to
tamper with the “key” when it is stored in the
BIOS as opposed to other storage areas. This method also
makes use of the existing computer hardware, which eliminates
the expense and inconvenience of using additional hardware.
Claim 1 of the ‘941 Patent claims:
1. A method of restricting software operation within a
license for use with a computer including an erasable,
non-volatile memory area of a BIOS of the computer, and a
volatile memory area; the method comprising the steps of:
selecting a program residing in the volatile memory,
using an agent to set up a verification structure in the
erasable, nonvolatile memory of the BIOS, the verification
structure accommodating data that includes at least one
verifying the program using at least the verification
structure from the erasable non-volatile memory of the BIOS,
acting on the program according to the verification.
19 Ex. A. Defendants assert that Independent Claim 1 is
representative of the other claims in the ‘941 Patent.
‘941 Patent has been involved in litigation against
Microsoft Corporation, Dell Incorporated, Hewlett Packard
Incorporated, Toshiba America Information Systems, and most
recently, Apple Incorporated. See Ancora Techs., Inc. v.
Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. et al., No.
09-cv-270-MJP (W.D. Wash.); Ancora Techs., Inc. v. Apple
Inc., No. 11-cv-6357-YGR (N.D. Cal.); Ancora Techs.,
Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-cv-3659-YGR (N.D. Cal.);
Ancora Techs., Inc. v. Apple, Inc., 744 F.3d 732,
736 (Fed. ...