Dow Jones Wins Appeal of Patent Infringement Suit

By: E&P Staff

Almost a year after Dow Jones & Co.’s Factiva business won a suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against London-based Ablaise Ltd., which sought a licensing fee for what it said was use of its patented technology, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has invalidated one of the two patents at issue.

For the second patent, the appeals court reversed the district court’s denial of Ablaise’s motion to dismiss Dow Jones’ invalidity claim, finding that court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the claim against the patent, and for that reason the appeal court “need not reach the question of whether the asserted claims of that patent are invalid as anticipated by the prior art.”

Before the district court’s decision, Ablaise had offered not to sue Dow Jones for claims related to that patent.

The relevant technology enables personalization of Websites, and the district court held that Ablaise inventions were obvious or anticipated by existing technology. Prior art cited by the court included MIT’s Fishwrap online newspaper.

The district court, the appeals court also said, noted that Ablaise revenues from the ‘737 patent were “largely achieved though the use of coercive licensing agreements that had more to do with avoiding the costs of litigation than with the novelty of the patent.


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