Monday, March 15, 2010

Google and Yahoo! Search Engines Do Not Infringe Method Claims Requiring Entry of Search Request Data By Users

Defendants were entitled to summary judgment of noninfringement with respect to the asserted method claim because their accused search engines did not perform the step of "providing, by the user to the local computer system, search request data representative of the users expressed desire to locate data substantially pertaining to said search request data" "In an attempt to avoid the general rule of divided infringement, [plaintiff] contends that [defendants] . . . (1) provide the HTML code that allows users to input their search queries; (2) receive and process the search query submitted by the user; and (3) offer search suggestions and spelling corrections after a user has entered information. This court rejects each of these rationales. As to the first two, [Defendants'] method of providing access to user search queries is irrelevant to infringement because claim 1 requires the user to provide to the system query data. The system’s actions are meaningless with respect to that limitation. As to the third point, while it is true that searches initiated by [defendants] could be relevant to infringement, neither accused system 'initiates' any search. Notably, [defendants] only offer suggestions and spelling changes after the user has begun a search query. . . . Moreover, the user continues to choose the course of the search without the 'control or direction' of the accused search engines."

PA Advisors, LLC v. Google Inc. et al., 2-07-cv-00480 (TXED March 11, 2010, Order) (Rader, C.J.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From The 271 Patent Blog: "Google, Yahoo! Skirt Divided Infringement Claim Based on Data Provided "By the User"