A shell company with a patent linked to Intellectual Ventures, the world’s biggest patent-holding company, has quietly filed a new lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against a vast range of computer peripheral makers and sellers.
The complaint (PDF), filed last week under the name Minero Digital LLC, demands that 26 companies pay royalties on USB hubs, which link together multiple USB-enabled devices. The defendants include the nation’s biggest electronic retailers, like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Fry’s, and Amazon. Also named are relatively small networking companies like HooToo. Major manufacturers are also included; Minero says that Belkin alone has eight different brands of USB hubs that infringe its patent.
Minero is asking for unspecified damages and an injunction that would shut down sales of the dozens of different product lines named in the complaint.