AGIS sues Google, Samsung over Location Sharing Features

On November 4, plaintiff AGIS Software Development LLC, filed a complaint against Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., (AGIS Software Development LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. and Samsung Electronics America, Inc 2:19-cv-00362) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division for patent infringement. The Eastern District of Texas is known for its high volume of patent cases and favorable stance for patent holders.

The patents in suit are U.S. Patent 9,820,123 entitled “Method to Provide Ad Hoc and Password Protected Digital and Voice Networks” issued on November 14, 2017 and U.S. Patent 9,749,829 entitled “Method to Provide Ad Hoc and Password Protected Digital and Voice Networks.”

AGIS Software, represented by McKool Smith, was founded by a former U.S. Marine. The company developed a new communication system using integrated software and hardware on mobile devices to give users situational awareness; this has become its LifeRing system for first-responders, law enforcement and military personnel. It uses GPS and cell networks to allow users to exchange location, heading, speed, and other information with others in a group, view the locations of others and quickly communicate.

Non-party Google licenses the Android operating system to others including Samsung. Samsung utilizes map-based communication, including preinstalled Google Maps, Find My Device, Messaging, Hangouts, and others. Samsung’s devices allow users to form groups with other users, view each other’s locations, and communicate with others, or find a missing device. In the complaint, AGIS alleges Samsung has infringed upon claim 23 of Patent ’123  and claim 68 of Patent ’829 because Samsung customers use Google Maps, Find My Device, Find My Phone, Google Messages, Android Messenger, Google Hangouts, Google Plus, Google Latitude, Google Play Protect and Google Chrome applications, and Samsung instructs customers through various means, such as videos and brochures to use these infringing features; including a Samsung user guide and through help and support pages.

The above images show some of capabilities of Samsung’s allegedly infringing devices.

The complaint alleges that Samsung’s infringing devices are preinstalled with at least Google Maps, which allow users to share their location, view the locations of others on a map and communicate with others on the Google Maps app through integration with preinstalled Google Messages, Android Messenger and Samsung Messages. The complaint claims that these features infringe upon its patents for its integrated communication system, LifeRing, through its location and map features with capabilities for groups and messaging.

On the same day, AGIS also filed two separate suits against Google for patent infringement (AGIS Software Development LLC. V. Google LLC, 2:19-cv-00361-JRG) and Waze, a subsidiary of Google (AGIS Software Development LLC, v. Waze Mobile Limited 2:19-cv-00359-JRG) in the Texas Eastern District Court. These suits are also for patent infringement related to AGIS’ LifeRing product. The suits are concerned with location services and location-based communication on a mobile device. In June 2017, AGIS filed a suit against Apple for location-based mobile device patent infringement (AGIS Software Development Inc. v. Apple Inc. 2:17-cv-00516-JRG), the case was terminated this March after a settlement and the court granted the dismissal.