Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal for Lack of Standing of Walker Digital’s Claims Against Klarquist Clients Amazon.com and Zappos.com

Published January 8, 2015

On December 30, 2014, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal with prejudice for lack of standing of four patent cases brought by Walker Digital, LLC, against Klarquist clients Amazon.com, Inc. and Zappos.com, Inc., Fish & Richardson client Expedia, Inc., and Potter Anderson client Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Delaware District Court Judge Sue L. Robinson had held that Walker Digital did not own the patents in suit, because it assigned them to eBay as part of a litigation settlement agreement.  Walker Digital argued that it assigned only specific patents and applications listed in the agreement, but the district court held that the agreement also unambiguously assigned patents and applications “related to”  those listed, including “continuations-in-part.”  It was undisputed that the patents in suit were continuations-in-part of listed patents and applications.  The dismissals were with prejudice because Walker Digital failed to cure the defect despite multiple opportunities to do so, and failed to propose a plan to cure it.

The Federal Circuit affirmed, holding that the settlement agreement unambiguously assigned continuations-in-part, such as the patents in suit, and dismissal with prejudice was not an abuse of discretion because Walker Digital had multiple opportunities to cure the defect.

At the trial court, Phil Rovner of Potter Anderson argued for Barnes & Noble, Ahmed Davis of Fish & Richardson argued for Expedia, and Jeff Love of Klarquist argued for Amazon and Zappos.  Attorneys from the three firms jointly briefed the issue at trial and on appeal, including Jonathan Choa of Potter Anderson, Linhong Zhang of Fish & Richardson, and Kristen Reichenbach and Phil Warrick of Klarquist.  Klarquist attorney Jeff Love argued for all defendants at the Federal Circuit.

[Link to opinion on Federal Circuit website]

Amazon.com, Inc. and Zappos.com, Inc. were represented by Klarquist attorneys Jeffrey Love, Klaus H. Hamm, Salumeh R. Loesch, Kristen Reichenbach, Todd M. Siegel, Carla Todenhagen, Philip Warrick, and Garth A. Winn.