On October 3, 2013 District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin granted defendant TRA Global’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. Plaintiff TNS Media, a market research company, is the sole assignee of U.S. Patent No. 7,729,940 (“the ’940 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 8,000,993 (“the ’993 patent”) which is directed to a method for correlating the advertisements that consumers view with purchasing behavior. The court found that defendants’ products do not practice the “purchase data” claim limitations of the ’940 and ’993 patents. Defendants do not collect and use data about when a purchase was made, they only lump customers into a “user type” i.e., heavy users of a product versus medium users of a product. The court rejected plaintiff’s argument that although “user types” and “purchase data” are distinguished in the patents-at-issue the distinction is illusory because “user type” data can be subsumed within “purchase data.” Instead, the court found that “user types” is categorically distinct from the temporal inputs relied upon by the plaintiff and the defendant only used “user types” data, and not “purchase data.”  The court went on to find that plaintiff’s doctrine of equivalents argument—that “user types” was the equivalent of collecting “purchase data”—was a repackaged version of its literal infringement argument. In addition, the court found that defendants’ did not infringe because they did not use double blind matching of ad viewing and purchasing behavior. The court also granted defendants’ summary judgment as to plaintiff’s trade secret misappropriation and non-patent damages.

Case: TNS Media Research, LLC v. TRA Global, Inc., No. 11 Civ. 4039 (SAS), 2013 BL 272235 (S.D.N.Y. October 3, 2013)