Software Patent Suit Against Walgreens is Latest in Campaign Against Retailers

Implicit, LLC has filed suit against pharmacy company Walgreen Co. over claims that the company infringed on a patent that covers a software engineering concept, specifically a “Method and System for Attribute Management in a Namespace.” This comes after similar suits filed against other major retailers like Walmart and Target in recent months.

The suit, which was filed in the Eastern District of Texas Sherman Division on Thursday, seeks a trial by jury and appropriate damages to compensate for the injuries induced by the defendant through the alleged infringement of the patent-in-suit. Walgreen’s is allegedly infringing on the patent by using its website to store information that “implements a namespace having a plurality of objects.”

The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 8,856,185. Edward Balassanian is the inventor of the patent, the complaint said, and developed a “novel method and system for attribute management in a namespace in 2002.” The invention was allegedly conceived in an effort to “allow for more flexible handling of object attributes and more flexible views into the namespace.” The document asserted that the invention is accompanied by a host of advantages that can present companies with substantial commercial advantages.

Balassanian’s invention “resolves technical problems related to managing access to data structures to locate the object, particularly problems related to flexibility in the handling of object attributes and views into the namespace.” The complaint maintains that the claims made in the ‘185 patent are sufficient to ensure that the patent amounts to more than just a patent-ineligible abstract idea.

The patent was issued to Implicit on October 7, 2014. The plaintiff is seeking favorable judgement regarding the infringement of the patent-in-suit, damages, litigation fees, and any other relief deemed proper by the court.

The plaintiff is represented by Devlin Law Firm, LLC.