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Tenon & Groove, LLC v. Plusgrade Sec

United States District Court, D. Delaware

January 6, 2015

TENON & GROOVE, LLC and OPTIONTOWN LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
PLUSGRADE S.E.C. a/k/a PLUSGRADE L.P. and PLUSGRADE U.S. LLC,

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

SHERRY R. FALLON, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Presently before the court in this patent infringement action is the motion for summary judgment of defendants Plusgrade S.E.C. a/k/a Plusgrade L.P. and Plusgrade U.S. LLC (together, "Plusgrade"). (D.I. 20) Plaintiffs Tenon & Groove, LLC and Optiontown (together, "Tenon & Groove") oppose Plusgrade's motion. (D.I. 24) For the following reasons, I recommend that the court grant Plusgrade's motion for summary judgment and dismiss the action.

II. BACKGROUND

Tenon & Groove initiated the present case on September 10, 2012, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 418, 409 ("the '409 patent") and 8, 145, 536 ("the '536 patent"). The '409 patent discloses methods for the concurrent optimization of value in various types of transactions between sellers and buyers, with applications in the context of the airline industry. The '409 patent contains independent claims 1, 2, and 31. Claim 2 is a process claim. Claim 1 requires a "computer-implemented system" capable of performing the process of claim 2. The parties appear to agree that, for purposes of the summary judgment, there are no material differences between claims 1 and 2. Claim 31 corresponds with the language of claim 2, but recites a particular application for seat upgrades. Claim 2 is reproduced below:

A computer-implemented method for concurrent optimization of value in a transaction between at least two entities, comprising:
a. providing a data store containing data representing, with respect to at least one product, at least one option offered by a first of said entities;
b. operating a server with which a second of said entities may interact for at least said option;
c. operating a server to receive inputs for at least said option and to search the data store for eligibility of products for at least said option;
d. displaying the search results;
e. receiving at least one decision of the second entity about the acceptance of at least one of said search results comprising acceptance of an option offered by said first entity; and
f. operating an event optimizer system to receive data at least pertaining to said acceptance, and in response to the occurrence of at least one event selected from a set of multiple predetermined potential events, execute a corresponding event specific response algorithm;
wherein at least one of the servers or the event optimizer system concurrently optimizes a value for at least two entities and determines how the first ...

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