Patent infringement suits against several prominent e-discovery companies, filed by nonpracticing entity Lone Star Document Management LLC, are beginning to wind their way through legal proceedings.
Lone Star, dubbed a “patent troll” by critics, filed against Business Intelligence Associates Inc., CaseCentral, Catalyst Repository Systems Inc., Digital Reef Inc., Gallivan, Gallivan & O’Melia LLC, Trial Solutions of Texas LLC (Cloud Nine Discovery) and others, late in 2011. Lone Star also sued Cap Digisoft Solutions Inc. earlier this year.
The patent, No. 6,918,082, describes a system for reviewing documents by using a computer network. Jeffrey M. Gross and Matthew H. Parker of Brooklyn, N.Y., received their patent in July 2005 — despite applications from Concordance and Summation existing long before the duo’s 1998 filing.
Company executives began discussing their responses this spring, most notably Catalyst CEO John Tredennick, who at the time vowed to fight and establish a joint defense fund.
“We are putting together a joint defense group right now. I don’t know if everybody signed, things always move slowly,” Tredennick said recently.
After receiving and considering the suit, Tredennick said he is “even more gung-ho that the patent doesn’t fly. A big part of the patent is that it’s an electronic proofing system. It talks about simultaneous display of versions. We don’t do that.”
It’s unclear which defendants are part of the defense-fund pool of Denver-based Catalyst. Some defendants, such as CaseCentral, now owned by Guidance Software Inc., in Pasadena, Calif., have not commented. Several have not replied to inquiries from Law Technology News, a Texas Lawyer affiliate.
Meanwhile, Gallivan has already settled. “We quickly got a commercial agreement out of Lone Star, and they decided they would be done with us,” managing executive Bill Gallivan said. The settlement amount was “not much,” Gallivan said.
“There’s tons and tons of prior art [but] there’s a cost to litigation. If basically you can lay out the way things are going to happen, it’s pretty easy to get a good settlement. In the end Lone Star made a commercial decision to no longer pursue it,” Gallivan said, in Seattle. “I’ve never felt so good about paying legal bills.”
Cap Digisoft Solutions also intends to settle, company CEO Arun Kumar said, in Irving.
Business Intelligence Associates convinced Lone Star to drop its charges. “We proved to them that our TotalDiscovery.com software has no implications in their patent,” president Brian Schrader said. “They’re going after review tools. TotalDiscovery.com is not a review tool . . . it was a nice victory to be able to not have to deal with this,” he added, in New York.
Patent owners Gross and Parker, did not return messages from LTN. Lone Star attorneys at Dallas-based McDole, Kennedy & Williams decline comment.