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2009-08-21 Parts River v. Shopzilla Order Re on-Sale Bar

2009-08-21 Parts River v. Shopzilla Order Re on-Sale Bar

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Published by: svlawgeek on Sep 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIAPARTSRIVER, INC.,Plaintiff,v.SHOPZILLA, INC.; YAHOO! INC.; EBAYINC.; AND MICROSOFT CORPORATION,Defendants./No. C 09-811 CWORDER GRANTINGDEFENDANTS’ MOTIONFOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT(Docket No. 201)SHOPZILLA, INC.; YAHOO! INC.; EBAYINC.; AND MICROSOFT CORPORATION,Counterclaim-Plaintiffs,v.PARTSRIVER, INC.,Counterclaim-Defendant./Defendants Shopzilla, Inc., Yahoo! Inc., eBay Inc. andMicrosoft Corporation move for summary judgment on PlaintiffPartsRiver, Inc.’s patent law claims against them, based on non-infringement and invalidity due to the on-sale bar. Plaintiffopposes the motion. The matter was heard on July 16, 2009. Havingconsidered all of the papers filed by the parties and oral argument
Case4:09-cv-00811-CW Document234 Filed08/21/09 Page1 of 14
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The claims against Defendants ValueClick, Inc. andPriceRunner Ltd. were dismissed with prejudice by stipulation inJune, 2008 (Docket No. 107).2on the motion, the Court GRANTS the motion for summary judgment.BACKGROUNDPlaintiff alleges Defendants
infringe its patent, U.S. PatentNo. 6,275,821 (the ’821 patent). Defs.’ Ex. A. The ’821 patent,entitled “Method and System for Executing a Guided ParametricSearch,” is generally directed at a system and method for assistinga user in “identifying a single item from a family of items.”Defs.’ Ex. A, Abstract. Sherif Danish and Kris Kimbrough are theinventors of the ‘821 patent, which was assigned to SaqqaraSystems, Inc. The ’821 patent issued on August 14, 2001, and isthe third in a series of patents that all claim priority to anapplication filed on October 14, 1994. Defs.’ Exs. A-C. The“critical date” for the on-sale bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) isOctober 14, 1993, one year before the patent application was filed.Plaintiff sells software products and services and has officesin Fremont, California. In April, 2006, Plaintiff acquired theassets of Saqqara Systems including the ‘821 patent.The ‘821 patent has two embodiments: a local embodiment on astand-alone computer and an internet embodiment for a computerconnected to a network. Defs.’ Ex. A at col. 18:11-19:35. Onlythe internet embodiment is at issue in this suit.Plaintiff alleges infringement of claims 1 and 2 of the ‘821patent. Defs.’ Ex. I. Claim 2 depends from claim 1. EachDefendant allegedly infringes claims 1 and 2 directly through its
Case4:09-cv-00811-CW Document234 Filed08/21/09 Page2 of 14
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3website or by contributing to or inducing infringement by others.Compl. ¶¶ 18-25, 33-41, 49-65 (Doc. No. 1); Defs.’ Ex. I. The textof claims 1 and 2 of the ‘821 patent is as follows:1. A method for assisting a user in identifying a subfamilyof items within a family of items, comprising the steps of:(a)providing a computer readable data file of storedinformation representing at least one family of items,said data file identifying at least one alternative foreach item,(b)reading said data file,(c)displaying a feature screen indicating saidalternatives represented in the family,(d)accepting a first selection criteria of at least onealternative,(e)determining a first subfamily of items wherein eachsaid item in the first subfamily satisfies said firstselection criteria,(f)determining available alternatives represented in thefirst subfamily,(g)revising said feature screen to indicate the availablealternatives of the first subfamily,(h)accepting a second selection criteria comprising thealternative or alternatives of the first selectioncriteria plus at least one alternative selected fromthe revised feature screen,(i)determining a second subfamily of items of the familywherein each item in the second subfamily satisfiessaid second selection criteria,(j)determining available alternatives represented in thesecond subfamily, and(k)revising said feature screen to indicate the availablealternatives of the second subfamily.2. The method of claim 1 wherein each family has at least onefeature associated therewith and further comprising the stepofdisplaying at least one grouping wherein each saidgrouping comprises one of said features visually relatedto respective alternatives
Case4:09-cv-00811-CW Document234 Filed08/21/09 Page3 of 14

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