Minero Digital normally spends its days exacting royalty payments from USB hubs, suing more than two dozen retailers and manufacturers last year. But it bit off more than it could chew when it threatened Newegg subsidiary Rosewill. It dropped the case with the hope of getting on with its normal business suing those who would not fight back.
However it’s not going to be easy for Minero and its president, Texas lawyer Daniel Perez, to walk away. Newegg filed its own lawsuit against Minero in Los Angeles federal court, asking a judge to rule that Rosewill products do not infringe Minero’s patent.
Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng says the move is necessary since Minero dismissed its Texas lawsuit without prejudice, meaning it can refile the case whenever it likes.
Cheng said that “Minero’s case did not have merit. Its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn’t expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it.”
Minero litigates against other retailers that sell Rosewill-branded products and that Newegg may have defence obligations to those other companies, he said.
Newegg’s lawsuit asks only for a judicial ruling of non-infringement, not money damages. Still, having to face a separate litigation in Newegg’s home district could be a time-consuming distraction for the patent-licensing entity, which only has a single Texas laywer.
Minero Digital filed its wide-ranging lawsuit in September of last year, citing US Patent No. 5,675,811. The patent was acquired by Intellectual Ventures in 2003 and passed on to Minero in April 2015. It describes a system of “intelligent daisy-chainable serial” bus connections, originating at Apple spinoff General Magic.
Rosewill was created in 2004 as a private-label brand wholly owned by Newegg. The company specializes in computer peripherals like power supplies, cases, memory, and cables.