Visto, a California company with a long history of filing patent suits, looks determined to keep making hay out of its patents in 2012. Its newest target is a company called Fixmo, a Virginia company that helps companies with data security on employee mobile devices. The lawsuit [PDF] says Fixmo’s SafeZone and Sentinel products infringe three Visto patents.
Visto’s history with patent suits is a long one; the company first sued Microsoft over patents in 2005. The company won a $7.7 million patent verdict the next year against Seven Networks, which later led to a confidential settlement. In 2007, Altitude Capital Partners, a firm that invests in patent litigation, invested $35 million in Visto’s patent battles.
Visto also sued Good Technology, a division of Motorola. Instead of defending the suit, Motorola went ahead and sold Good Technology to Visto in 2009, ending the suit. Visto then took on Good Technology as its name.
Later in 2009, Visto reached a $267.5 million settlement with Research in Motion.
Because it formed an alliance with patent-holding company NTP, Visto has been sometimes hit with the moniker ‘patent troll,’ even though its management has insisted it is a mobile e-mail company, where patent litigation is not the focus.
The patents in the new suit include the 6,085,192 patent, which has been used since the beginning of the company’s lawsuits. history. The company’s head of intellectual property, Daniel Mendez, is lead inventor on that patent.
Visto is represented by McKool Smith, a top patent litigation firm based in Texas.