Spherix Inc., the intellectual property development company run by CEO Anthony Hayes, was handed a defeat in one of its nine existing cases last week when it was forced to file a joint motion to dismiss a patent infringement suit against AT&T Inc.
Bethesda, Maryland-based Spherix filed the suit — Guidance IP LLC v. AT&T Inc. and AT&T Mobility — in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas in December 2013. AT&T filed a counter claim against Guidance in the case.
Guidance IP's claim was dismissed with prejudice, while AT&T's counter claim was dismissed without prejudice by Judge Ed Kinkeade on Aug. 13. The parties also were ordered to be responsible for their own attorneys’ fees in the matter.
The case is one of two infringement suits brought by Spherix with regard to cell phone location patent number 5,719,584. The other case was filed Aug. 1, 2013 against T-Mobile Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. That case was later transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Based on the result of the AT&T case, the T Mobile case may now also be in doubt.
That means that Spherix now has only eight active patent infringement cases and may soon only have seven.
As recently as July 29, Spherix said it had nine active patent infringement cases in four groups including cordless phone technology, cell phone location, routing and switching equipment and Internet service providers.
Hayes said in the July 29 statement that “by asserting different patent families in diverse technology fields, we hope to decrease the risk associated with a monetization strategy that relies solely upon the assertion of the same patents over and over.”
The company’s vice president of finance and licensing Frank Reiner also added that Spherix continued to “identify infringers of out patents, which cover many areas of some of the largest technology fields in use today. We foresee many opportunities to monetize these assets in the future.”
Hayes couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. Todd Brandt, an attorney for Guidance, couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
Jon Swenson, an attorney for AT&T, also couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
Asim Bhansali, a San Francisco-based attorney for T Mobile, also couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
Shares of Spherix, which trade under the symbol SPEX, fell 8 cents or 4.68% to $1.63 in Nasdaq Capital Market trading on Friday Aug. 15. They’ve traded between $16 and $1.19 over the past year.
The company was planning a shareholder update call on Monday Aug. 18 at 10 am Eastern time to discuss the status of its litigations.
--Dan Lonkevich to reach the reporter responsible for this story please call 707 318-7899 or by email at email@example.com