E-mail Patent Asserted against Amazon, Facebook, and Google Invalidated under Alice
- March 2, 2016
A Texas judge’s invalidation of an e-mail patent under Alice has resulted in the end of several lawsuits against Amazon (1:15-cv-00154), eBay (1:15-cv-00155), Facebook (1:15-cv-00156), Google (1:15-cv-00157), and HomeAway (1:15-cv-00158). The tech companies had been sued by Australian NPE A Pty Ltd., which accused them of infringing a single patent (7,010,572) generally related to transmitting an e-mail using a descriptor for the intended recipient instead of an e-mail address. On February 29, District Court Judge Robert Pitman granted five identical motions for judgment on the pleadings filed by the defendants, ruling that the ‘572 patent was invalid for claiming the abstract idea of an address directory without adding a sufficiently inventive concept to convey patent eligibility.