A novel International Trade Commission case that expanded the limits of what the agency would consider a "domestic industry" has ended with the holding-company plaintiff that initiated that suit, Saxon Innovations, selling the lion's share of its patents to patent-defense aggregator RPX Corporation.
Under the deal, RPX acquires all but ten of Saxon's 180 patents, which originated with chipmaker AMD Corporation, for an undisclosed sum. The remaining 10 patents go to a patent-enforcement company called Norman IP Holding, which is managed by the same people who managed Saxon. Saxon has ended its innovative ITC litigation against Palm Inc., Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, HTC, and Research in Motion, as well as two related federal lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas.Saxon is owned by Altitude Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm that invests in patent litigation. In a statement announcing the RPX deal, Altitude's managing partner, Rob Kramer, said he is proud of the profits Saxon's litigation has produced for the investment firm and especially proud that it was a Saxon suit that persuaded the ITC—the federal agency tasked with protecting the U.S. market from unfair trade practices—that a holding company with two full-time employees is indeed a "domestic industry" worthy of protection.
“I want to especially thank Saxon Chief Executive Officer, Bill Marino, for conceiving of and executing the novel approach of demonstrating domestic industry in the International Trade Commission,” Kramer said. “His entire management team and all of our strategic partners made great contributions to accelerate our realization of such outstanding returns."