Elite Gaming Technology has filed three patent infringement suits on the same day against computer hardware manufacturers ASRock Inc., AsusTek Computer Inc., and Micro-Star International Co. All of the suits were filed in the Texas Eastern District Court. The presiding judge in all of the cases is District Judge Rodney Gilstrap. Elite Gaming Technology is represented by Brown Rudnick.
Elite Gaming accuses each of the companies of patent infringement. The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,963,947 (the ’947 patent); 6,708,045 (the ’045 patent); 7,194,613 (the ’613 patent); 6,791,799 (the ’799 patent); and 6,973,535 (the ’535 patent). AsusTek and Micro-Star also infringed upon patents RE43,587 (the ’587 patent) and 9,298,280 (the ’280 patent). These patents “generally cover systems and methods for use in motherboards, laptops, and desktop PCs.
Elite Gaming has alleged that each of these companies infringed upon each of the patents-in-suit. Third party companies, including Western Digital (WD) and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) are suppliers of Hard Drive Disks (HDD), which use the allegedly infringing technologies. ASRock, AsusTek, and Micro-Star all use these hard drive disks in their infringing devices. For example, the ’947 patent “generally relates to technology for dynamically rebalancing PCI to PCI bridges to overcome Operating System, BIOS, and Chipset limitations to allow for multiple level PCI buses.” Defendants have not licensed to use these patents from Elite Gaming.
Each defendant has a variety of infringing products that have motherboards using chipsets that “include bridge drivers to allow communications between otherwise incompatible buses.” These infringe upon at least claim 1 of the ’947 patent by “making, using, offering to sell, selling, and/or importing into the United States motherboards that contain a bridge driver adapted to permit communications from a first communications bus to a second communications bus via a bridge.” For example, ASRock’s “bridge drivers are adapted to rebalance a multi-level PCI bridge-based computer system.” ASRock’s X570 AQUA motherboard is compatible with the X570 chipset, which communicates between graphics, memory, PCI, USB, and I/O via drivers. This can also be seen via ASRock’s website, which provides information on the device. AsusTek also infringes on at least claim 1 of the patent via an adapted bridge driver which allows communication via a bridge from a first to a second communication bus.
The plaintiff alleged that each of the defendants has also indirectly infringed and induced consumer infringement. Elite Gaming has sought a judgment that defendants have directly and indirectly infringed on the patents-in-suit, an order preventing future infringement, an award for damages, a judgment declaring the case exceptional and awarding Elite Gaming attorney’s fees, and other relief as deemed by the court.