Kelora’s Parametric Search Patent Invalidated
May 23, 2012 – Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California issued a ruling that granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment of invalidity of plaintiff Kelora‘s [NPE] patent (6,275,821) due to obviousness. The Court’s obviousness ruling was based on the fact that one of ordinary skill in the art, which was determined to be someone with “2-3 years of experience or education with computer programming,” would have been motivated to combine the teachings of a prior art teaching, AMP Navigator, with a client-server arrangement. Claims one and two of an earlier version of the ’821 patent, which has an October 4, 1994 priority date based on the filing of the 5,715,444 patent, were deemed invalid by the Northern District of California in a suit filed by its previous owner, PartsRiver (PartsRiver v. Shopzilla, Case No. 09-0811). In that instance, the Court found that claims one and two of the ‘821 patent were invalid due to an offer for sale and reduction to practice for a demonstration program referred to as AMP Navigator by April 1992. During a concurrent ex parte reexamination of claims one and two before the PTO, PartsRiver proposed several claim amendments that were ultimately accepted by the PTO. A reexamination certificate for the ’821 patent was issued on November 2, 2010, and PartsRiver dropped its appeal of the Court’s ruling that invalidated the previous version of the patent. Kelora Systems acquired rights to the ’821 patent, which disclosed a method of parametric search, from PartsRiver and asserted the patent directly against multiple defendants including Amazon, Costco, Dell, and HP and was subject to declaratory judgment actions from Adobe, eBay, and Microsoft.