Cheetah Omni LLC, a Texas Limited Liability company and a spin-off company of Omni Sciences has sued many large players for infringing seven patents in the field of communication system, optical processing and electro-optical systems. The lawsuit has been filed in the patent litigation friendly
Eastern District Court on July 29, 2011. The lawsuit mentions Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena Corporation, Fujitsu, Tellabs, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies as the companies that are infringing the seven patents and liable for paying damages to Cheetah Omni which has suffered loss due to infringement of its patents. This is not the first time that Cheetah Omni has filed a lawsuit against a large corporation. For instance, prior to this lawsuit, Cheetah Omni had sued Verizon Services on April 1, 2011 for infringing US7522836 patent. Texas
Omni Sciences is a Non-Practicing Entity (Patent Troll) and was founded by Dr. Islam who has worked for the Advanced Photonics Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories. According to Omni Sciences website, Dr. Islam currently holds more than 115 patents. In addition to founding Cheetah Omni LLC, Dr. Islam has also founded Xtera Communications, Celeste Optics and AccuPhotonics. This site reports that Cheetah Omni happens to be one of the top Non-Practicing Entity. For a complete list of patents assigned to Cheetah Omni, please click here.
The patents-in-suit are US6882771 (the ‘771 patent), entitled “Apparatus and method for providing gain equalization”, US7339714, (the ‘714 patent), entitled “Variable blazed grating based signal processing”, US6888661 (the ‘661 patent), entitled “Square filter function tunable optical devices”, US6847479 (the ‘479 patent), entitled “Variable blazed grating”, US6856459 (the ‘459 patent), entitled “Apparatus and method for controlling polarization of an optical signal”, US6940647 (the ‘647 patent), entitled “Apparatus and method for controlling polarization of an optical signal” and US7116862 (the ‘862 patent), entitled “Apparatus and method for providing gain equalization”.
This lawsuit will further heat up the debate over patent trolls. Are trolls wrong at not practicing their patents and suing practicing entities or are their actions justified in empowering small inventors to pick on large corporations, which would have not been possible earlier.