Monday, November 29, 2010

"Simple User Involvement" With Software is Not Sufficient to Trigger Divided Infringement

In granting plaintiff's motion for summary judgment of infringement the court rejected defendant's argument that it did not infringe a method claim because the step of "supplying digital data representing each of a plurality of source data streams from a plurality of users" could only be performed by the end user and not defendant. "Defendants are unable to make a divided infringement argument because it is the software that performs all necessary steps of the patent. A user is necessarily involved at least at some point in most computer method patents; simple involvement, however, is not enough to give rise to divided infringement. For example, even the famous 1-click patent has a limitation requiring a 'response to only a single action being performed.' The user necessarily is the one who performs this 'single action' after going to the web page and searching for the item. If simple user involvement were enough to give rise to divided infringement, few, if any, software patents could be infringed."

Kenexa BrassRing Inc. v. Taleo Corporation, 1-07-cv-00521 (DED November 18, 2010, Order) (Robinson, J.)

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