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Rothwell Figg Client TripAdvisor Successful in IPR Involving Speech Recognition Patent

November 12, 2020

On November 12, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued its final written decision in IPR2019-01080, finding all of the challenged claims of the ’981 patent invalid, resulting in a victory for Rothwell Figg client TripAdvisor in its ongoing dispute with Mimzi over the speech recognition patent.

Mimzi originally filed suit against TripAdvisor on November 9, 2018, in the District of Delaware, alleging that TripAdvisor infringes claims of U.S. ’981 patent, which describes methods and systems for allowing a mobile device user to make a spoken request for information and to receive in response location-dependent information ranked by social network factors, such as popularity or user ratings. The invention allows a user to ask his mobile device, e.g., “Where is the nearest (best, most popular) Chinese restaurant?” and receive results ranked based on those criteria. In addition to the suit against TripAdvisor, Mimzi filed suit against FourSquare, Asustek, Acer, and HTC also asserting infringement of the ’981 patent. The district court case was stayed pending resolution of the inter partes review (IPR).

In response to the district court filing, on May 22, 2019, TripAdvisor filed a petition for IPR with respect to all asserted claims of the ’981 patent. The petition explains that the asserted claims of the ’981 patent are unpatentable over prior art disclosing the use of speech recognition technology to allow mobile device users to search for nearby restaurants or other businesses either alone or in combination with prior art describing the ranking of search results on mobile devices based on user ratings, popularity, and location. The PTAB granted institution of the IPR on all challenged claims under all challenged groups on November 15, 2019. In the Final Written Decision, the panel wrote a long and careful decision holding in favor of TripAdvisor on claim construction, secondary indicia, most of the key issues regarding what the prior art showed, and motivation to combine.

TripAdvisor is represented by Rothwell Figg’s Steven Lieberman, Sharon Davis, Brian Rosenbloom, and Michael Jones. The district court case is Mimzi, LLC v. TripAdvisor Inc. et al (1-18-cv-01768).

To view Law360’s coverage of the case, “TripAdvisor Scores PTAB Review of Speech Recognition IP” on November 18, 2019, please click here.