Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Divided Infringement: Outsourcing Accused System Warrants a Finding of Noninfringement as to Both System and Method Claims

Defendant's "natural language interactive voice response system" did not infringe the asserted system and method claims of plaintiff's speech recognition patents because defendant outsourced its voice response system to a vendor who "without input from [defendant], [was] responsible for choosing, configuring, and operating the architecture, hardware, and speech recognition software relating to the [voice response system]." "[Plaintiff] reasons that DirecTV put the system into service because (i) DirecTV owns the telephone number required to access the system, (2) the system is designed to serve DirecTV's customers, (3) the system accesses DirecTV's backend accounting system for customer data and movie titles, and (4) DirecTV owns a website. . . . But even if such facts were true, as a matter of law they are unrelated to putting the claimed technology into service. DirecTV does not control any of the hardware or software associated with [the vendor's] accused platform or claimed in [plaintiff's] patents and thus cannot put the claimed invention into service."

Phoenix Solutions, Inc. v. The Directv Group, Inc.,
2-08-cv-00984 (CACD November 23, 2009) (Pfaelzer, J.)

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