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IPA Technologies Inc. v. Amazon.Com, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

January 18, 2019

IPA TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AMAZON.COM, INC., and AMAZON DIGITAL SERVICES, LLC, Defendants. IPA TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Defendant. IPA TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
GOOGLE LLC, Defendant.

          Stephen P. Brauerman and Sara E. Bussiere, BAYARD, P.A., Wilmington, DE; Paul J. Skiermont (argued), Sarah E. Spires, Sadaf R. Abdullah, Steven W. Hartsell, Alexander E. Gasser, and Christopher M. Hodge, SKIERMONT DERBY, Dallas, TX; Mieke Malmberg, SKIERMONT DERBY, Los Angeles, CA. Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Steven J. Balick, & Andrew C. Mayo, ASHBY & GEDDES, P.A., Wilmington, DE; J. David Hadden (argued), Saina S. Shamilov, Todd R. Gregorian, Ravi Ranganath, & Athul K. Acharya, FENWICK & WEST LLP, Mountain View, CA. Attorneys for Defendants Amazon.com and Amazon Digital Services, LLC.

          Rodger D. Smith II, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Richard A. Cederoth (argued) & Nathaniel C. Love, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Chicago, IL; Joseph A. Micallef & Scott M. Border, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Washington, DC. Attorneys for Defendant Microsoft Corporation.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld and Rodger D. Smith II, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Michael C. Hendershot (argued), David T. Okano, and Evan McLean, PAUL HASTINGS LLP, Palo Alto, CA; Arvind Jairam, PAUL HASTINGS LLP, Washington, DC. Attorneys for Defendant Google LLC.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDKEWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (D.I. 35). The issues are fully briefed. (D.I. 36, 37, 45). The Court held oral argument on November 16, 2018.[1](D.I. 51). For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Defendants' motion to dismiss as to the '021 patent, '061 patent, and '718 patent and denies Defendants' motion to dismiss the claims of infringement of the '115 patent, the '128 patent, and the '560 patent.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff IP A Technologies ("Plaintiff) filed suit on December 19, 2016 alleging Defendants Amazon.com and Amazon Digital Services ("Defendants") infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 742, 021 ("the '021 patent"), 6, 523, 061 ("the '061 patent"), and 6, 757, 718 ("the '718 patent") owned by Plaintiff (collectively "the Halverson patents"). (D.I. 1). On March 31, 2018, the Court granted Defendants' first Motion to Dismiss without prejudice as to claim 1 of the '021 patent, claim 1 of the '061 patent, and claim 1 of the '718 patent, and otherwise denied the motion. (D.I. 30, 31). On April 11, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, reasserting these claims and asserting new claims that Defendants infringe U.S Patent Nos. 6, 851, 115 ("the '115 patent"), 7, 069, 560 ("the '560 patent"), and 7, 036, 128 ("the '128 patent") (collectively, "the Cheyer patents"). (D.I. 33). Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the claims for infringement of the six asserted patents as invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. (D.I. 35). The asserted Halverson patents are generally directed to navigating an electronic data source by means of spoken language. ('021 patent, Abstract). The Halverson patents share a common specification. (D.I. 37 at 7-8).

         Claim 1 of the '021 patent reads:

1. A method for speech-based navigation of an electronic data source, the electronic data source being located at one or more network servers located remotely from a user, comprising the steps of:
(a) receiving a spoken request for desired information from the user;
(b) rendering an interpretation of the spoken request;
(c) constructing at least part of a navigation query based upon the interpretation;
(d) soliciting additional input from the user, including user interaction in a non-spoken modality different than the original request without requiring the user to request said non-spoken modality;
(e) refining the navigation query, based upon the additional input;
(f) using the refined navigation query to select a portion of the electronic data source; and
(g) transmitting the selected portion of the electronic data source from the network server to a client device of the user.

         ('021 patent, claim 1). Claim 1 of the '061 patent reads:

1. A method for utilizing agents for speech-based navigation of an electronic data source, comprising the steps of:
(a) receiving a spoken request for desired information from a user;
(b) rendering an interpretation of the spoken request;
(c) constructing a navigation query based upon the interpretation;
(d) routing the navigation query to at least one agent, wherein the at least one agent utilizes the navigation query to select a portion of the electronic data source; and
(e) invoking a user interface agent for outputting the selected portion of the electronic data source to the user, wherein a facilitator manages data flow among multiple agents and maintains a registration of each of said agents' capabilities.

('061 patent, claim 1). Claim 1 of the '718 patent reads:

1. A method for speech-based navigation of an electronic data source located at one or more network servers located remotely from a user, wherein a data link is established between a mobile information appliance of the user and the one or more network servers, comprising the steps of:
(a) receiving a spoken request for desired information from the user utilizing the mobile information appliance of the user, wherein said mobile information appliance comprises a portable remote control device or a set-top box for a television;
(b) rendering an interpretation of the spoken request;
(c) constructing a navigation query based upon the interpretation;
(d) utilizing the navigation query to select a portion of the electronic data source; and
(e) transmitting the selected portion of the electronic data source from the network server to the mobile information appliance of the user.

('718 patent, claim 1).

         The asserted Cheyer patents are generally directed to a software "architecture supporting] cooperative task completion by flexible and autonomous electronic agents." ('115 patent, Abstract). The Cheyer patents share a ...


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