Following in the footsteps of the Voltage Pictures LLC v. Salna reverse class action launched against alleged pirates of movies (see our previous reporting on this case here); Seismotech IP Holdings Inc. and Seismotech Safety Systems Inc. (collectively “Seismotech”) have commenced a series of reverse class actions to enforce their patent rights.
Seismotech has commenced four reverse class actions, two relating to classes of defendants comprising legal persons who manufactured, distributed, or sold allegedly infringing intelligent thermostats, and two relating to classes of defendants comprising individuals who purchased allegedly infringing intelligent thermostats.
These actions appear to be the first reverse class actions brought in the patent field, and offer a novel method for patent owners to enforce method claims in a potentially economic fashion.
It remains to be seen whether Seismotech will be successful in maintaining their class actions against individual purchasers and users of the allegedly infringing thermostats. However, this case may be a warning to individuals purchasing knock-off or counterfeit products that they may not be immune to legal repercussions.
Click here for the most recent order relating to the Seismotech cases.