News Releases
December 18, 2015
Law360 included a Polsinelli matter in its list of Top 10 Alice cases of 2015. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) remains one of the most hotly debated cases in patent law. See previous coverage here.

Polsinelli’s IP Litigation group won what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind case, defeating claims of patent infringement on behalf of its client, FourKites, Inc. On November 6, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio found all 95 claims of United States Patent Nos. 8,604,943; 9,070,295; 9,082,097; 9,082,098; and 9,087,313 invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and dismissed the claims of MacroPoint, LLC.

The decision is notable because it is believed to be the first dismissal under the Supreme Court’s Alice decision where some of the asserted patents had been examined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and issued after the Patent Office’s interim Alice guidance. That guidance was intended to ensure that patents satisfy the statutory patentability standards. The decision reinforces the notion that, regardless of when a patent issues, it is the courts, and not administrative agencies, that are the ultimate arbiters of validity under Section 101.

FourKites is a Chicago-based start-up that offers innovative logistical services for shippers, brokers, and carriers. MacroPoint, a competitor based in Ohio, sued FourKites for allegedly infringing five of its patents—four of which issued earlier this year—that claim methods and systems for monitoring the location of vehicles and freight.

FourKites moved to dismiss MacroPoint’s claims because the patents were directed to an abstract idea without the addition of an inventive concept. In opposition, MacroPoint argued, among other things, that the patents deserved extra deference because four of the five had issued in 2015, after the USPTO issued guidance for examining patents under Alice. In a memorandum opinion and order, the Court agreed with FourKites’ arguments, rejected MacroPoint’s rebuttals, invalidated the five patents, and granted FourKites’ motion to dismiss.

For more information contact Polsinelli Attorneys Adam Weiss at aweiss@polsinelli.com or Gary Hood at ghood@polsinelli.com.