Marathon Patent Group Announces That the USPTO Has Denied Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.'s Petition for Inter Partes Review of Signal IP, Inc.'s '007 Patent

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/30/15 -- Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) ("Marathon"), a patent licensing company, announced today that on September 29, 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") denied a petition for inter partes review ("IPR"), IPR2015-01116, filed by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. against Marathon subsidiary Signal IP, Inc.'s U.S. Patent No. 6,012,007 ("'007 Patent"). This was one of two IPR's filed against this patent.

The PTAB ruled: "... Petitioner's challenge to claim 1 is unpersuasive. Claim 17 is similar to claim 1, but recites "a microprocessor...particularly programmed to" perform the steps of the method of claim 1. Petitioner's contentions regarding claim 17 include the same deficiencies discussed above regarding claim 1. Pet. 26-27, 45-47. Accordingly, we are not persuaded that Petitioner has established a reasonable likelihood of success on its challenge to claims 1 and 17, or claims 19-21, which depend from claim 17, based on obviousness over Cashler and Schousek. For the foregoing reasons, we determine that the information presented in the Petition fails to establish a reasonable likelihood that Petitioner would prevail in establishing the unpatentability of any of the challenged claims..."

"We are pleased with the USPTO's decision denying Volkswagen's IPR petition, especially in light of their previous IPR against the '927 patent also being denied," said Doug Croxall, Founder and CEO of Marathon Patent Group. "This ruling, along with those that have preceded it, continue to demonstrate the value of our proprietary process to assess, value, and acquire high quality patent assets that have the potential of generating meaningful return on investment for both the company and its shareholders."

The '007 patent is titled "Occupant Detection Method and Apparatus for Air Bag System" and issued on January 4, 2000 from U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 08/868,338 ("the '338 application"), filed June 3, 1997. The '007 patent relates to occupant restraints for vehicles and particularly to a method using seat sensors to determine seat occupancy for control of the deployment of supplemental inflatable restraints (SIRs) or vehicle airbags.

Signal IP Inc., was represented by the Ascenda Law Group at the PTAB proceedings.

The '007 patent has been asserted in the following proceedings:

  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 2-14-cv-13729 (E.D. Mich.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC et al., No. 2-14-cv-03109 (C.D. Cal.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Fiat USA, Inc. et al., No. 2-14-cv-13864 (E.D. Mich.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. BMW of North America, LLC et al., No. 2-14-cv-03111 (C.D. Cal.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, No. 2-14-cv-03108 (C.D. Cal.); settled since;
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. d/b/a Audi of America, Inc. et al., No. 2-14-cv-03113 (C.D. Cal.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Porsche Cars North America, Inc., No. 2-14-cv-03114 (C.D. Cal.); settled since;
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, No. 2-14-cv-03107 (C.D. Cal.); settled since;
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Nissan North America, Inc., No. 2-14-cv-02962 (C.D. Cal.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc., No. 8-14-cv-00491 (C.D. Cal.);
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Kia Motors America, Inc., No. 2-14-cv-02457 (C.D. Cal.); and
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. et al., No. 2-14-cv-02454 (C.D. Cal.).
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Subaru of America, Inc. No. 2-14-cv-02963 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Hyundai Motor America, No. 8-15-cv-01085 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Signal IP, Inc. v. Toyota North America, Inc. et al., No. 2-15-cv-05162 (C.D. Cal.)

About Marathon Patent Group
Marathon is a patent acquisition and monetization company. The Company acquires patents from a wide-range of patent holders from individual inventors to Fortune 500 companies. Marathon's strategy of acquiring patents that cover a wide-range of subject matter allows the Company to achieve diversity within its patent asset portfolio. Marathon generates revenue with its diversified portfolio through actively managed concurrent patent rights enforcement campaigns. This approach is expected to result in a long-term, diversified revenue stream. To learn more about Marathon Patent Group, visit

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Marathon Patent Group
Jason Assad

Source: Marathon Patent Group