Saturday, July 2, 2011

eBay prevails in limiting patent litigation against it by Kelora Systems.

Kelora Systems, LLC is Cupertino, California based company that owns U.S. Patent Number 6,275,821 which is a method and system for guiding a parametric search.  As the drawing to the right shows, a parametric search is one that uses a lot of criteria at once.  Guiding the search involves automatically turning criteria on and off so that even if there are no exact results the system can still predict what the user seeks.  Previously, PartsRiver, Inc. owned the patent and unsuccessfully litigated it against Shopzilla in PartsRiver, Inc. v. Shopzilla, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Aug. 21, 2009).

In that case, Judge Claudia Wilken determined that the on-sale bar in 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) rendered the patent invalid.  So, PartsRiver sought ex parte reexamination of the patent in order to change the claims so it would be valid.  That endeavor was successful on November 2, 2010 and resulted in this patent which is the subject of the current litigation.

Microsoft and eBay seek summary adjudication that either 1) the '821 patent claims are substantially similar to the patent involved in PartsRiver, so that the patent is still invalid in the present case (presumably under a theory of collateral estoppel) or 2) that, if the claims are different 35 U.S.C. § 252 prohibits any award of damages for infringing actions prior to November 2, 2010.

Judge Wilken found that the claims were different, went with option two and granted that portion of the plaintiff's summary adjudication motion.

1 comment:

  1. That parametric search is not owned by eBay so as to how they won on limittint Kelora is not clear yet. But the former can always raise it up to intellectual property lawyers if they want to surge on with this patent wars.