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Pragmatus Telecom, LLC v. Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 9, 2015

PRAGMATUS TELECOM, LLC, Plaintiff.
v.
GENESYS TELECOMMUNICATIONS LABORATORIES, INC., ET. AL., Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For the Plaintiff: Michael J. Farnan, Esq., Farnan LLP, Wilmington, DE; Marc C. Belloli, Esq., Feinberg Day Alberti & Thompson, Menlo Park, CA (argued); David L. Alberti, Esq., Feinberg Day Alberti & Thompson, Menlo Park, CA; M. Elizabeth Day, Esq., Feinberg Day Alberti & Thompson, Menlo Park, CA.

For the Defendants: Michael J. Flynn, Esq., Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, Wilmington, DE; Karen Jacobs, Esq., Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, Wilmington, DE; Vera M. Elson, Esq., Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto, CA (argued); Sara L. Rose, Esq., Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto, CA; Trevor Carter, Esq., Faegre Baker & Daniels, Indianapolis, IN; Jeffrey L. Moyer, Esq., Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, DE; Art Hasan, Esq., Christian Parker & Hale, Glendale, CA; Evan W. Krick, Esq., Ballard Spahr LLP, Wilmington DE; John J. Cuddihy, Esq., Ballard Spahr LLP, Washington, DC.

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Memorandum Opinion

Richard G. Andrews, J.

Before this Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaints for failing to claim patent-eligible subject matter. (D.I. 55). The Motion has been fully briefed. (D.I. 58, 60, 72).[1] The Court has heard oral argument on this matter. (D.I. 81). The Court also requested that Plaintiff provide any proposed claim constructions it would like the Court to use for this

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motion to dismiss (D.I. 79), which Plaintiff has provided. (D.I. 80). At the oral argument, the Court also requested that the parties provide letters related to background information regarding the " history of call centers" as it relates to the matter at issue, which both parties submitted. (D.I. 82, 83).

I. Background

Plaintiff has asserted that Defendants infringe four patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,438,314 (" the '314 patent" ), 6,311,231 (" the '231 patent" ), 6,668,286 (" the '286 patent" ), and 7,159,043 (" the '043 patent" ). (D.I. 58 at 7). All four patents are continuations of U.S. Patent No. 5,884,032 and have a common specification. (D.I. 58 at 7).

In its briefing, Defendants only address the eight asserted claims of the '314 patent as " representative claims," arguing that none of the asserted claims in the three other patents " include any meaningful limitation" that allows for patent eligibility. (D.I. 58 at 8). Plaintiff disputes what it calls this " one-sentence attempt to boot strap the other three patents-in-suit," arguing that the claimed inventions are very different and cannot be merely lumped together without additional analysis. (D.I. 60 at p. 2).

The '314 patent generally relates to controlling communication between customers and organizations using certain computer systems. ('314 Patent, Abstract). More specifically, the technology relates to connecting customers to live agents using call centers among other systems. ( See '314 Patent at 1:25-2:4). In the Background of the Invention, the Patent identifies two disadvantages to current systems that integrate call center and Internet technologies: first, the customer must physically record and dial an 800 number, and second, the long waits disincentivize customers from making calls. ('314 Patent at 1:25-57). The specification reads: " The invention provides a method of quickly enabling the changing of customer contact channels under control of the calling customer. A customer contact channel is a specific means of communication between the customer and a sales/service provider." ('314 Patent at 2:10-14). According to Defendants, the claims at issue " merely re-apply the admittedly existing marketing technique of providing an 800 number on a web page so a customer can call for assistance from a call center; to the concept of allowing a customer to select some unspecified thing on a web page to do the very same thing." (D.I. 58 at 12). Plaintiff meanwhile argues that the patent helped connect companies to customers over different channels such as the Internet: " The patent is directed at overcoming two problems[:] (1) having to necessarily use physical telephones, which is a disincentive to contacting the company; and (2) the long waiting time associated with such calls." (D.I. 60 at pp. 6-7).

Plaintiff has asserted claims 1 through 7 and 10 of the '314 patent. (D.I. 58 at 2). Claims 1 and 5 are independent claims. Claims 2, 3 and 4 are dependent on claim 1, and claims 6, 7 and 10 are dependent on claim 5.

Independent claim 1 of the '314 patent recites:

An automated call distribution system comprising a server and a call center, the server providing network service to a customer terminal, with the server being operable to receive data provided by the customer upon selection of a remote help option provided from one or more pages downloadable to the customer terminal where the data provided to the server includes a contact channel through which the user of the customer terminal can be reached and an Internet Protocol (IP) address;

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the server being operable to receive the data and forward the data, including the contact channel and IP address, to the call center;
the call center being operable to receive the data from the server and automatically establish communication between the call center and the user of the customer terminal through the contact channel specified in the received data and wherein the established communication is based at least in part on the IP address within the received data.

('314 Patent, Claim 1).

Dependent claim 2 reads:

The automated communication distribution system according to claim 1 wherein the communication other is (sic) than a voice communication.

('314 Patent, Claim 2).

Dependent claim 3 reads:

The automated communication distribution system according to claim 1 wherein the communication includes text.

('314 Patent, Claim 3).

Dependent claim 4 reads:

The automated communication distribution system according to claim 1 wherein the established communication between the call centre and the user of the customer terminal is performed in real-time.

('314 Patent, Claim 4).

Independent claim 5 recites:

An automated communication distribution ...

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