Federal Circuit Upholds Jury’s Verdict Invalidating a Software Patent Under the On-Sale Bar of 35 U.S.C. §102(b)

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In Leader Technologies, Inc. v. Facebook, Inc., No. 11-1366 (Fed. Cir. May. 8, 2012), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a District Court jury’s verdict that a software patent was invalid as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) because the claimed invention was offered for sale and publicly demonstrated more than one year before the date that the patent application was filed (critical date). The decision is available here.

Leader Technologies owns U.S. Patent No. 7,139,761 (‘761 patent) related to software that allows users on a network to communicate and collaborate on a large scare. Prior to filing the application, which issued into the ‘761 patent, Leader developed a product referred to as Leader2Leader® with the underlying engine Digital Leaderboard® (Leader Products) starting in 1999. Around 2002, Leader presented a white paper describing the Leader Products as fully complete products and offered them for sale to various commercial entities and a Federal entity. Leader subsequently filed suit against Facebook, Inc. in 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for infringement of the ‘761 patent. The jury in this trial returned a verdict against Leader, finding that the asserted claims of the ‘761 patent were invalid because the invention was subject to an invalidating sale and public use.

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