Civix-DDI, LLC v. Hotels.com, No. 05 C 6869, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 19, 2011) (St. Eve, J.). 

Judge St. Eve granted defendant Hotels.com summary judgment of noninfringement in this patent litigation involving selecting items from a database based upon geographic vicinity. Here are the key holdings:

  • Citing Centillion Data Sys., LLC v. Quest Comm'ns Int'l, Inc. 631 F. 3d 1279 (Fed. Civ. 2011) the Court held that Hotels.com did not "use" or "make" the required "point" or end-user computer or mobile device. The end-user had to initiate a query by implementing data into its post. Those activities were not under Hotels.com's control. And therefore Hotels.com neither directly infringed nor induced infringement. 
  • Plaintiff Civix-DDI ("Civix") only identified star-rankings and property type in its interrogatory responses as "Associated Categories." Civix was, therefore, limited to those two associated categories. Because no Hotels.com initial screen in evidence allowed for search by either of these associated categories, Hotels.com was entitled to partial summary judgment of noninfringement. 
  • Hotels.com was granted summary judgment of noninfringement because its banner ads were supplied by a third party, not from a Hotels.com database as required by the patents. Similarly, Hotels.com did not store the required virtual tours on its own database as required by the patent. 
  • The Court refused to consider Civix's expert declarations to the extent that they contradicted the expert's deposition testimony.