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Federal Circuit Affirms District Court Decision Dismissing Three Patents Asserted Against Client Fandango

October 8, 2019

A Rothwell Figg team representing client Fandango Media, LLC prevailed after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a District Court decision granting Fandango’s motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Section 101 with respect to three patents asserted by Maxell, Ltd.

Maxell originally asserted seven patents against Fandango in the Central District of California. One of the patents, U.S. Patent No. 8,255,679, was knocked out after the court granted Fandango’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on March 21, 2018. On September 11, 2018, U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford granted Fandango’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that three other asserted patents - U.S. Patent Nos. 8,311,389, 9,083,942 and 9,773,522 - are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under Alice. The three patents relate to letting users access audio/video content according to a playback permission time period and a retention time period. Judge Guilford found that the claims are directed to the abstract idea of applying a set of time restriction rules to enforce access to content and fail to recite an inventive concept, and are therefore ineligible under Section 101.

The Rothwell Figg team representing Fandango was comprised of Steven Lieberman, Sharon L. Davis, Michael H. Jones, and Jennifer B. Maisel.

A fifth asserted patent, U.S. Patent No. 9,384,783, is part of a pending IPR. On February 13, 2019, the PTAB instituted IPR and expressly rejected Maxell’s arguments as to the prior art that were raised in its patent owner preliminary response.

The victory was covered by IP Law360 in an article on October 8 2019. The article can be found here.