Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd., No. 2012-1342 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 4, 2013)

Applying its recent en banc decision on joint infringement in the Akamai and McKesson cases, the Federal Circuit unanimously vacated a summary judgment of non-infringement in Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd. The patentee, Real Estate Alliance Ltd., asserted a patent directed to methods for locating available real estate properties using a map on a computer. The claimed methods in the asserted patent include certain steps requiring a selection. The district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement to Move, Inc. reasoning that in the accused systems, the user, and not the computer, performs the selection steps of the claimed methods.

On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with the district court’s analysis on the issue of direct infringement, finding that the accused infringer neither performs nor controls or directs the performance of the steps in the claimed methods requiring a user selection. However, the Court vacated the summary judgment ruling in light of the district court’s failure to analyze induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b). Referencing the holding in the Akamai decision, the Court explained the case law does not require that a single entity perform or direct all of the steps of a claimed method in order to prove induced infringement. Accordingly, the Court remanded the case to the district court for a determination as to whether the accused inducer knew of the asserted patent and knowingly induced the performance of the steps requiring a user selection.