NEW YORK – Jan. 22, 2016 – Judge John W. Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought by American Needle, Inc., against Greenberg Traurig, LLP client CafePress Inc. American Needle alleged that CafePress’ web-based system, permitting its customers to include photographs on items for sale and preview them from different perspectives, infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,319,980, directed to a method for facilitating sales of objects over the Internet.
CafePress moved to dismiss and Judge Darrah granted the motion with prejudice, holding that the ’980 patent was ineligible under 35 U.S.C. §. The Court held that the ’980 patent was directed to the abstract idea of promoting sales by providing a visual aide to purchasing over the Internet, in that adding design elements to merchandise and displaying the merchandise can be performed by human thought alone. The Court also held that the ’980 patent did not include an inventive concept, because it merely limited the idea of presenting customers with previews of merchandise to a particular technological environment (i.e., computers and networks).
Judge Darrah’s order is the latest in a string of decisions in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), involving the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101 to patents drawn to computer implementation of ideas on a motion to dismiss. The motion permitted CafePress to resolve the case early and avoid incurring needless litigation costs. CafePress was represented by Joshua L. Raskin, James J. Lukas, Jr., and Justin A. MacLean.
Raskin, a registered patent attorney at the firm’s New York office, focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation with an emphasis on patent litigation. He has litigated numerous cases in federal courts across the country and argued before the Courts of Appeals for the Federal and Second Circuits. He has represented clients at the trial and appellate stages in a broad range of industries, including electronics, liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, computer technology, mobile handsets, Internet Protocol Television, and finance.
Lukas, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig’s Chicago office, focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation with a particular emphasis on patent litigation and related client counseling. He has experience with complex patent litigation cases in federal district courts throughout the country, including both enforcing patent rights and defending against charges of infringement on behalf of clients. He has first-chaired claim construction and summary judgment hearings and he has argued before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Second Circuit. His experience includes all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition litigation from pre-litigation investigation and preparation of pleadings through all phases of discovery, motion practice, Markman and summary judgment hearings, pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appeals.
MacLean is an associate in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice of the firm's New York office. His areas of concentration include patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation. MacLean has been involved in all stages of litigation from pre-litigation diligence and enforcement and preliminary injunction proceedings through discovery (including electronic discovery), summary judgment, and trial, as well as inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. A former examiner with the United States Copyright Office, MacLean has represented companies across a variety of industries and technologies both in enforcing their intellectual property rights and defending against claims of infringement.