US Supreme Court denies $30m Vringo and Paul Allen patent petitions

by Supreme court Supreme court – The US Supreme Court has rejected petitions filed by licensing company Vringo and former Microsoft owner Paul Allen.

Vringo had sought a review of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision to reverse a $30.5 million district court patent verdict that had gone in its favour, while Allen’s company, Interval Licensing, had hoped to overturn another federal circuit decision which invalidated several patent claims.

Both requests were denied yesterday, October 5.

At the centre of Vringo’s claims are two patents covering an online content filtering system.

Vringo through its subsidiary I/P Engine sued Google at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2012, alleging patent infringement.

It initially found success later that year after the court awarded it $30.5 million but the federal circuit overturned the ruling in a 2-1 decision last year and said that the patents were obvious.

In his dissenting opinion, Judge Raymond Chen questioned the obvious finding.

He said he was concerned about the approach taken by the majority in construing the claims of the patents and that federal circuit judges should “exercise caution in wielding our own common sense as part of our review”.

Vringo echoed Chen’s concern.

In a writ of certiorari filed in May, the company asked the Supreme Court to clarify “under what circumstances, if any, may the federal circuit review de novo a jury’s factual findings underlying a district court’s determination that a patent is non-obvious.”

The Supreme Court, however, declined to hear the case.

Allen was also unable to convince the Supreme Court that his case should be heard.

In a complaint filed in 2010 at the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, Allen’s Interval Licensing claimed that technology companies AOL, Apple, Google and Yahoo were liable for infringement of two patents, which covered messages displayed to internet users.

The district court said that claims 4 to 8, 11, 34, and 35 of US patent number 6,034,652 were invalid as well as claims 1 to 4 and 7 to 18 of another patent, US number 6,788,314.

In its 2014 decision the federal circuit affirmed the invalidity of the claims but asked the district to review its allegedly “erroneous construction” of claims 15 to 18 of the ‘652 patent.

Interval Licensing unsuccessfully sought a reversal of the federal circuit’s decision.

Source : World IP Review