Friday, January 17, 2014

United Airlines, Eclipse End Patent Dispute over Notification Software

Case Filed: Sep 11, 2013

Case Closed: Jan 13, 2014

Court: California Central District Court

Judge: S. James Otero

Case Summary:
Eclipse IP, a patent holding company sued United Airlines claiming unauthorized use of their intellectual property. The patents in question were: US7119716, US7504966 and US7482952, all entitled ‘Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications’ issued on Oct 10, 2006, Mar 17, 2009 and Jan 27, 2009, respectively.  The patents expire[i] by Nov 12, 2023 and are currently assigned[ii] to Eclipse IP (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database).

The patents in general describe data communications, information and messaging systems, and more particularly relate to methods for notifying a party of travel status.

In its Court filings, Eclipse alleged that United Airlines infringed the patents-in-suit  by making, using, offering for sale, and/or selling a method for communications in connection with a computer-based notification system to, for example: store contact data in computer memory; provide electronic notification communications to a personal communications device based on the contact data; receive changes to the contact data; and modify if and/or how future notification communications will be sent.

It appears that the parties agreed for settlement and filed a motion to stay the case, which the Court granted in December with an order to file a joint status report by Jan 13, 2014. Later, Eclipse filed a notice to dismiss the action against United Airlines with prejudice, with each party bearing their own costs and fees. The notice also said that this case may be dismissed without an order of the Court as defendant had not answered or moved for summary judgment, thereby closing the case.

See 2:13-cv-06653 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

* Expected expiration date using Patent Term Estimator, use our free tool or download our free Android app on Google Play Store. 

[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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