Klarquist Defeats Metasearching Patent at PTAB
On March 13, 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,326,924 of Metasearch Systems, LLC unpatentable under Section 101 and Section 103 of the Patent Act. The decision concluded a Covered Business Method Review Proceeding (CBM2014-00001) filed and tried by Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, on behalf of American Express Co., Expedia, Inc., Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., Priceline.com Inc., Travelocity.com LP, and Yahoo! Inc. d/b/a Yahoo! Travel, and their affiliates American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., Hotels.com LP, Hotels.com GP, LLC, and Hotwire, Inc. in response to the 2012 lawsuits filed by Metasearch Systems, LLC in the District of Delaware against these companies.
The patent claims describe methods for metasearching on the Internet, causing an advertisement associated with the search to be displayed along with the results of the search, and processing an order for a searched item. The Board ruled that the claims were directed to the abstract idea of “marketing an item on a metasearch Web site with keyword ads and providing a way to order the item.” The Board further found the claims lacked “inventive concept” because the method steps recite only conventional Internet operations, such as communicating with a client device using HTTP, and the “metasearch engine” recited in the claims’ preamble was nothing more than conventional software. The Board likened the claims to those of Ultramercial, since the claims use the Internet in its “normal, expected, and routine manner for requesting, receiving, and processing data.” The PTAB also found the claims invalid over prior art combination Mamma.com and Knowledge Broker.
American Express Co., Expedia, Inc., Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., Priceline.com Inc., Travelocity.com LP, and Yahoo! Inc. d/b/a Yahoo! Travel were represented in the CBM proceeding by Klarquist attorneys J. Christopher Carraway, Kristen Reichenbach, and John Vandenberg.