Ariba v. Emptoris

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the jury verdict of infringement in Ariba v. Emptoris, 2009-1230 (Fed. Cir. January 8, 2010).  The patent at issue concerned an electronic auction.   Interestingly, one of the claims at issue from US patent 6,216,114 was a Beauregard claim:

69. A machine-readable medium whose contents cause a computer to control overtime in an electronic auction, by performing:

a) defining a first time interval, a second time interval, a first overtime condition and a first closing time for a first lot, wherein said first overtime condition comprises:

receiving a plurality of bids;

assigning an ordinal rank to each bid from a best bid to a worst bid; and

receiving a bid having an ordinal rank that is within a predefined number of rank ordinal positions of best bid;

b) determining whether said first overtime condition occurs during said first time interval; and

c) extending said first closing time using said second time interval in accordance with said determination.

Again, the Federal Circuit affirmed the jury verdict of infringement of this Beauregard claim.

There was one question during the oral argument which struck me as odd.  Judge Moore asked the attorney for the defendant-appellant whether the claim at issue was an originally filed claim.  [Listen].  Perhaps it was just curiosity on Judge Moore’s part — I can’t think of any legal precedent that would require claims that were added or amended after a patent application was filed to be treated any differently during litigation for purposes of literal infringement than one would treat an originally filed claim.

The court’s rule 36 opinion is available here: [Read].  (Just a heads up that there is an error in the caption that has the attorneys who argued the appeal shown as representing the opposing party.)

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