Elec. Commc’n Techs. LLC v. ShoppersChoice.com LLC
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Patent Owners Beware: Serial Filings, Rent-Seeking May Be Grounds for Adverse Fee Award

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a district court’s denial of attorney’s fees to an accused infringer, finding the district court did not properly consider the Patent Owner’s manner of litigation, including the history of plaintiff’s actions in other jurisdictions and the broader context of its litigation practices. Elec. Commc'n Techs., LLC v. ShoppersChoice.com, LLC, Case No. 19-2087 (Fed. Cir. July 1, 2020) (Wallach, J.). Following a finding by a Florida district court that a patent asserted by Electronic Communication Technologies (ECT) was ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, ShoppersChoice filed a motion for attorney’s fees, citing ECT’s use of standardized demand letters and repeated infringement actions seeking nuisance-value settlements. ShoppersChoice also informed the district court of a recent award of attorney’s fees against ECT in the Central District of California (the True Grit decision) for conduct relating to...

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Verdict Delivered: Shipment Notification Claims are Patent Ineligible—Even with Security Flair

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s pleadings-stage determination that a patent claim directed to a delivery notification system was subject matter ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Elec. Commc'n Techs., LLC v. ShoppersChoice.com, LLC, Case No. 19-1587 (Fed. Cir. May 14, 2020) (Prost, C.J.). Electronic Communication Technologies (ECT) filed suit against ShoppersChoice.com for infringement of a claim directed to an automated notification system enabling a user to select authentication information (e.g., a unique phrase) to be included with future delivery notifications, thus indicating that the notification is legitimate. The claim also recites enabling the user to communicate with someone regarding the “particulars” of the delivery. ShoppersChoice moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing the patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The district court granted ShoppersChoice’s motion, finding the asserted claim was...

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