Federal Circuit Affirms Decision in Appealed Patent Infringement Case

The Federal Circuit issued an opinion on Thursday regarding an ongoing suit between plaintiff PersonalWeb Technologies, LLC and defendants Google, LLC and Youtube, LLC. PersonalWeb alleged infringement of patents relating to data management, specifically “data processing systems that assign each data item a substantially unique name that depends on the item’s content.”

The patent infringement suit was initially filed and then transferred to the Northern District of California, where it was then appealed to the Federal Circuit.

According to the opinion, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reviewed the case after it had been stayed. The Board concluded that a number of the challenged claims were unpatentable, explaining that “using hash-based identifiers for data management was disclosed in the prior art.”

When the stay by the court was lifted, the defendants sought judgement on the remaining asserted claims, maintaining their ineligibility. The district court subsequently granted the motion, prompting an appeal from PersonalWeb which was transferred to the Federal Circuit.

In their appeal argument, PersonalWeb maintained their inventive and involved process warrants patentability, but the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s view that the process was nothing more than a simple three-step process, refuting PersonalWeb’s statement that their claims are not abstract.

PersonalWeb was represented by McKool Smith and Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro in the litigation. The defendants were represented by Keker Van Nest & Peters, Perkins Coie, Cooley LLP, and WilmerHale.