San Diego – Uniloc Inc. filed a flurry of patent infringement lawsuits against 12 separate companies in Texas federal court on Friday, asserting its rights in a patent for administering license terms for software on a computer network.
The companies named as defendants in the complaints include Altair Engineering Inc., Altera Corp., Altium Inc., Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp., Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., Mintab Inc., Originlab Corp., Parametric Technology Corp., SlickEdit Inc., SofTech inc., System Development Inc. and Waterloo Maple Inc.
All 12 companies are accused of infringing U.S. Patent Number 5,579,222, entitled “Distributed license administration system using a local policy server to communicate with a license server and control execution of computer programs.” The patent was issued in November 1996.
The defendants’ allegedly infringing behavior includes making, using and selling software that includes concurrent license administration functionality that permits the borrowing or “checking out” of licenses, according to the complaints.
Uniloc researches, develops, makes and licenses information security technology solutions, platforms and frameworks, including solutions for securing software applications and digital content. The company’s patented technologies enable software and content publishers to securely distribute and sell their high-value technology assets with minimum burden to their legitimate end users, according to the complaint.
Uniloc’s technology is used in a range of several different markets, including software and game security, identity management, intellectual property rights management and critical infrastructure security, it says.
The ’222 patent claims an improved system, working on a network with a plurality of digital computers at their own nodes in communication with each other over a data path, for administration of license terms of a software product. The system is arranged for tracking software product usage, associated with one of the computers acting as a license server.
The patented technology permits the license server to identify the current set of computer nodes that are using the software product at a given time, handle license data concerning conditions under which usage of the software product is permitted at any given node, and determine whether the conditions would still be satisfied if a given node is added. The software product may also include instructions to work with the license server to enforce the license terms.