An important ruling was issued last Friday in the 4-year old patent infringement lawsuit that SEO platform BrightEdge filed against competitor Searchmetrics. The California federal court judge sided with defendant Searchmetrics, ending a long and expensive court battle.
At issue in the federal case were five patents Brightedge claimed were being infringed upon by competitive SEO platform Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics successfully argued that the patents owned by Brightedge were both abstract and broad and thus did not offer an “inventive concept” that satisfied precedent (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 2014) which ruled that abstract ideas are not patentable under Section 101 of the Patent Act — unless the claim contains an “inventive concept” that sufficiently transforms the idea into an application that then becomes patent-eligible.
In his ruling the judge agreed, invalidating the five patents owned by Brightedge. The plaintiffs had requested that a sixth patent is amended to the suit but the judge denied this request as well, advising that they would need to file a new lawsuit to address that new/additional patent dispute.
For Searchmetrics, this is an important victory that’s been a long — and expensive — the battle to win. I reached out to Searchmetrics’ CTO Marcus Tober who said:
“In our competitive industry the ruling means that we can all focus even more on what matters most: applying innovation that helps our customers to succeed online.”
We also reached out to Brightedge for comment but have not received any and will update when we do.