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Source Search Technologies, LLC v. Kayak Software Corporation

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 1, 2015

SOURCE SEARCH TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
KAYAK SOFTWARE CORPORATION, Defendants.

KAPLAN BREYER SCHWARZ & OTTESEN, LLP, By: Jeffrey I. Kaplan, Daniel Basov (pro hac vice), Matawan, NJ, Counsel for Plaintiff.

K&L GATES LLP, By: Rosemary Alito, Esq., C. Bryan Cantrell, Esq., Newark, NJ, By: John J. Cotter, Esq. (pro hac vice), State Street Financial Center, Boston, MA, Counsel for Defendant.

OPINION

JOSEPH E. IRENAS, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Source Search Technologies, LLC ("SST" or "Plaintiff") brought this action against Defendant Kayak Software Corporation ("Kayak" or "Defendant") alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5, 758, 328 ("the 328 Patent"), which is titled "Computerized Quotation System and Method."

Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment of invalidity on the relevant patent claims for failure to claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. ยง 101.

For the reasons stated herein, the motion will be GRANTED.

I.

The 328 Patent, issued initially in May 1998 and subsequently reexamined, describes a computerized system and method for processing requests for quotations ("RFQs") between buyers and sellers over a computer network.[1]

In general terms, the 328 Patent presents an alternative to prior computerized systems for obtaining quote information from vendors, which, as SST explains in its specifications and communications with the Patent Office, utilized cumbersome centralized databases. Relevant to the instant case are independent method claims 12 and 20 of the 328 Patent, which SST alleges Kayak infringes.

Claim 12 recites as follows:

A method of purchasing goods or services over a data network comprising the steps of:
communicating, over said data network, to a filter means, at least one request for a quotation from a potential buyer of said goods or services;
filtering, at said filter means, the at least one request for quotation in order to ascertain a set of sellers potentially capable of supplying said goods or services; and
obtaining, from at least one of said potential sellers previously ascertained by said filtering said request for quotation, over a data network, quotes to supply said goods or services, and forwarding said quotes to said potential buyer, wherein at least part of the quote information is stored at a location remote from said filter means.

(Reexamined 328 Patent, Ex. A to Kayak's MSJ) Claim 20, which is almost identical to claim 12, recites:

A method of purchasing goods or services over a data network comprising the steps of:
communicating, over said data network, to a filter means, at least one request for a quotation from a potential buyer of said goods or services;
filtering, at said filter means, the at least one request for quotation in order to ascertain a set of sellers potentially capable of supplying said goods or services; and
obtaining, by said filter means, responsive to said filtering, from at least one of said potential sellers, over a data network, quotes to supply said goods or services, and forwarding said quotes to said potential buyer, wherein at least part of the quote information is stored at a location remote from said filter means.

(Id.)[2]

On January 27, 2014, the Court issued a claim construction opinion and order construing disputed terms used in both claims. Source Search Techs., LLC v. Kayak Software Corp., No. 11-3388 (FSH), 2014 Markman 314665 (D.N.J. Jan. 27, 2014) (hereinafter " Markman Opinion"). The Court construed "filter means" to require "software for (1) selecting a class of vendors who sell the requested item(s), and (2) applying or comparing specified conditions to an item(s) of information to determine if the condition is met or not by the item(s) of information." Id. at *5-6. The Court also construed the "obtaining... quotes" step to require "the system acquiring the required and available quote information from the vendor's product database using pre-distributed software." Id. at *17-18.

The 328 Patent does not detail how this "predistributed software" functions. In construing claim 4 of the patent, which contains similar language to claims 12 and 20 regarding how the patent's system "generates" quotes from information in the vendors' databases, the Court noted that the patent's specifications mention the use of "suitable software" ...


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