Court finds patent invalid under Alice.
Fish & Richardson announced that the Eastern District of Virginia has granted United Services Automobile Association’s (USAA) motion to dismiss with prejudice a lawsuit alleging infringement of a patent for verifying online transactions using a trusted third party. In the case,Asghari-Kamrani v. USAA, Judge Robert Doumar ruled on July 5, 2016 that the Asgharis’ ‘432 patent is invalid because it is directed to no more than an abstract idea and thus ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
In October 2015, brothers Nader and Kamran Asghari-Kamrani accused USAA of infringing their ‘432 patent because of the manner in which USAA members can log on to USAA’s website. The Asgharis, principals of Delphinus Technology located in Centreville, Virginia, demanded an eight-figure damages award.
“This was a bellwether case since the Asgharis have threatened many other companies with this patent, from financial services entities to IT security firms,” said Fish & Richardson principal Michael Zoppo, who served as lead patent counsel for USAA. “The plaintiffs should have known that their suit against USAA and threats against the industry are meritless. The ‘432 patent issued before the Alice decision came out, but in a later patent application related to the ‘432 patent, the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected virtually identical claims under Alice. This was a victory both for USAA and for the industry at large.”