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Alphonso beats patent infringement case with summary judgment

A lawsuit brought by Free Stream Media Corp. accusing Alphonso Inc. of infringing upon its patent ended with a summary judgment in favor of Alphonso in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The court determined that the facts did not support all of the claim elements in the lawsuit and therefore granted Alphonso's motion for summary judgment.

Free Stream Media Corp., which operates a service called Samba, had asserted that Alphonso violated its U.S. Patent No. 3,386,356 with a similar system that targeted advertising at mobile phone users based on their television viewing. The court ruled against Samba because evidence indicated that Alphonso did not use a relevancy-matching server linked to a television like Samba's patented technology.

Alphonso purchased data about television viewing habits for its advertising system from Vizio. The court interpreted this model as substantially different than Samba's, which collected data through its patented technology linked to televisions. Samba had argued that Alphonso could not use a contract with a data provider as cover for infringement, but the court found no evidence that Vizio collected the data solely for use by Alphonso or that Alphonso exercised any control over Vizio's data collection activities.

Patent infringement cases and other litigation that concerns intellectual property rights typically depends on the interpretation of technical information and registered ownership. A person accused of infringement or who needs to curtail the actions of an infringing party might want the representation of an attorney who focuses on these types of cases. An attorney may evaluate legal standards that define infringement as they apply to the specific details of the case. This analysis might inform the person about the strength of a legal position. An attorney may be able to lead private negotiations for a settlement or litigate the case.

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