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U.S. Ethernet Innovations v. many (2009, USA)

Revision as of 19:13, 23 February 2012 by Ciaran (talk | contribs) (References: reflist)
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On October 9, 2009, U.S. Ethernet Innovations announced it had acquired patents from 3Com for fundamental networking technology from the mid-90s and that they were suing a list of companies including Acer, Apple, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, Sony, and Toshiba.[1]

The patents in question are:

  • US5,732,094 - Method for automatic initiation of data transmission - filed 1996
  • US5,434,872 - Apparatus for automatic initiation of data transmission - filed 1992
  • US5,307,459 - Network adapter with host indication optimization - filed 1992
  • US5,299,313 - Network interface with host independent buffer management - filed 1992

It is not yet confirmed that these are software patents but this case demonstrates how patents are used. The companies being targeted by these patents might be able to afford to defend themselves or to pay for a licence, but in software, developers are often individuals or small groups or companies which couldn't afford this.

3com relationship

What USEI's website says:

"After successful litigation against Realtek, 3Com concluded that the best way to continue its successful licensing of the patents was to spin-out the portfolio to a separate technology company. As a result, U.S. Ethernet Innovations acquired [a lot of] the 3Com patent portfolio"[2] (referring to the July 2008 win of 3com's lawsuit against Realtek, for 70 million $)[3]


nerdtwilight blog pointed out the following:

3com: " “Are we Chinese? Are we American? No. We’re a global company. Ideas, know-how, value can flow every which way.”"(from Forbes Magazine, quoted on nerdtwilight blog) [4]

USEI: “We believe that the continued aggressive enforcement of the fundamental ethernet technologies developed by 3Com against the waves of cheap, knock-off, foreign manufactured equipment is a necessary step in protecting the competitiveness of this American technology and American companies in general.” - David Kennedy [5]


    • Kennedy was involved with the Interactive Intelligence AudioFax patent lawsuits[8]

Misc info

Court case information (from

Is called "U.S. Ethernet Innovations, LLC v. Acer, Inc. et al"

  • Filed in: Texas Eastern District Court, Smith County, City of Tyler
  • Judge: Leonard Davis
  • Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement [9]


  • 2008 Jul 3com wins 70 mil$ from lawsuit against Realtek over Ethernet patents[10]
  • 2009 Jul 2, USEI domain regsitered[11]
  • 2009 Sep 28, USEI listed as new 'texas franchise tax' payer [12]
  • 2009 Oct 9, press release about lawsuit[13]



  • U.S. Ethernet Innovations, LLC
  • 719 West Front Street
  • Suite 122
  • Tyler, TX 75702 [15]

Registered Agent

Related pages on ESP Wiki

External links

Press coverage