By Linda O’Brien, J.D., LL.M.
There was no clear error in the district court’s claim construction of certain terms in the patent for a digital content delivery system and finding of noninfringement by a bank’s mobile banking application.
In a digital marketing provider’s patent infringement suit alleging infringement of its digital content delivery system by a bank’s mobile banking application, there was no clear error in the district court’s construction of certain claim terms and grant of summary judgment of noninfringement based on the claim constructions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled. The specification references of the patent and the ordinary and customary meaning of the terms supported the court’s construction of the terms. Thus, the district court’s decision was affirmed (Groove Digital, Inc. v. United Bank , September 3, 2020, Schall, A.).
Groove Digital, Inc., a provider of online marketing software platforms and services, owns U.S. Patent Nos. 9,454,762 ("the '762 patent"), titled "System and Method for the Delivery of Content to a Networked Device." The '762 patent discloses a method of delivering digital content to computer systems by using applet applications, also known as alerts or notifications. In December 2017, Groove filed suit against United Bank, alleging that the bank infringed claims 1-37 of the '762 patent with its "Bank with United" mobile banking application.
In April 2019, the district court in Alexandria, Virginia, issued an order construing certain claim terms. In May 2019, based on the parties’ joint stipulation that Groove could not prove infringement of the '762 patent given the court’s construction of those terms, the court granted summary judgment of noninfringement of claims 1-37 of the '762 patent in favor of United Bank. Groove appealed.
Claim construction. The claim constructions by the district court were not erroneous, the appellate court found. In its claim construction order, the district court construed the term "applet" and four comparing phases to require "geotargeting." An explicit definition was not required to inform a claim term’s meaning, rather the patent’s specification may define the claim terms, the court noted. The '762 patent "repeatedly, consistently, and exclusively" depicts applets are being geotargeted. In every pertinent embodiment disclosed in the patent specification, applets are delivered and served based on geotargeting. Specifically, the patent explains that, while multiple fields of information on a user may be maintained, the primary field needed for the targeted delivery of applets for an effective marketing campaign is a zip code.
Further, the district court did not error in construing the term "internet browser." According to the court, while the patent specification does not use the term "internet browser," it does provide two examples of web browsers—Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator—which are recognized to describe an Internet browser. Those web browsers would have been given their ordinary and customary meaning by persons of ordinary skill in the art as programs that enable users to find, locate, retrieve, and navigate web pages on the Internet. Additionally, multiple dictionary definitions, which define "browser" as a software application that allows users to select, retrieve, and interact with resources on the web, were provided to the district court to support its claim construction. According, there was no clear error in the district court’s factual findings and it’s construction of the terms "applet", comparing phrases, and "internet browser" and the grant of summary judgment of noninfringement was affirmed.
This case is No. 19-1857.
Attorneys: Brian Sherwood Seal (Butzel Long, PC) for Groove Digital, Inc. Jeffrey A. Berkowitz (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) for United Bank.
Companies: Groove Digital, Inc.; United Bank
MainStory: TopStory Patent FedCirNews GCNNews
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