Verint Files Multiple Actions to Enforce Patented Call Center Technology

by Womble Bond Dickinson

Verint Systems, Inc. ("VSI"), of Melville, New York, and Verint Americas, Inc. ("VAI"), of Alpharetta, Georgia (collectively, "Verint"), have filed several suits in the Northern District of Georgia against competitors to enforce various patents Verint holds generally relating to computer software and hardware for improved customer service and call-center operations.  As previously reported here, Verint filed a patent infringement action in August 2013 against Interactive Intelligence, Inc., alleging infringement of 20 U.S. patents.  Verint filed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice in that action on February 3, 2014.  Verint's three new complaints assert various subsets of those 20 patents against three new defendants.

According to the complaints, Verint is in the business of providing, developing, and selling computer software and hardware products and systems directed to the analysis, recording, monitoring, transmission, and security of electronic communications.  Verint asserts that this technology provides an end user with the ability to capture, analyze and act on large volumes of voice, video, and text, which can enhance customer service operations in call centers, branches, and back-office environments.  Verint claims that its products are used by over 10,000 organizations in over 150 countries, including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100.

Verint administers a licensing program, called Open Innovation Network ("OIN"), through which Verint claims to "offer to grant, under reasonable terms, a world-wide license to its extensive portfolio of patents."  Based on the allegations in the complaints, Verint's patent enforcement model appears to involve multiple efforts to convince alleged infringers to join OIN before resorting to litigation.  The complaints recount multiple communications with each defendant relating to the patents-in-suit, beginning in 2010-2011, wherein Verint urged the defendants to join the OIN licensing program, to no avail.

First, Verint filed suit against Envision Telephony, Inc. ("Envision") of Seattle, Washington, alleging that a number of Envision products, including its "Click2Coach" and "SmartAgent" products, infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 5,790,798 ("the '798 patent"), 6,510,220 ("the '220 patent"), 7,774,854 ("the '854 patent"), RE43,324 ("the '324 patent"), and RE43,386 ("the '386 patent").  Verint alleges that Envision's infringement has been willful and deliberate, entitling Verint to treble damages and attorneys' fees.

Next, Verint sued CallCopy, Inc. d/b/a Uptivity ("Uptivity"), of Columbus, Ohio, alleging that the "Uptivity Discover Suite" and other related products infringe the '798 patent, the '220 patent, the '386 patent, and U.S. Patent Nos. 8,345,828 ("the '828 patent"), 8,359,434 ("the '434 patent"), and 8,401,155 ("the '155 patent").  Interestingly, in 2013 Verint filed two complaints against Uptivity in Delaware. In the first action, Verint asserted 15 patents, none of which are involved in the Georgia action.  Uptivity won a motion to transfer the case to the Southern District of Ohio, where it remains pending.  The second action was nearly identical to the present complaint; Verint voluntarily dismissed the case and refiled (after several months) in Georgia, likely because the second action would have faced a similar fate of transfer to Ohio.

Uptivity also filed petitions for inter partes review of three Verint patents, including the '324 patent, at the PTAB.  The Board did not institute a review of the patents, finding that Uptivity had failed to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that at least one of the challenged claims was unpatentable based on the prior art presented in the petitions.

Most recently, Verint filed an action against Voice Print International, Inc. ("VPI"), of Camarillo, California. Verint alleges that certain VPI products, including "VPI Empower Suite," infringe the '798 patent, the '220 patent, the '386 patent, the '854 patent, the '324 patent, and U.S. Patent Nos. 7,203,285 ("the '285 patent"), 7,376,735 ("the '735 patent"), 7,574,000 ("the '000 patent"), 7,852,994 ("the '994 patent"), 8,204,056 ("the '056 patent"), and 8,130,926 ("the '926 patent").

After Uptivity's success in transferring Verint's earlier Delaware complaint, the current complaints contain extensive factual allegations relating to each defendant's contacts with the state of Georgia.  Verint seeks injunctive relief and damages in each complaint, and as noted above, in the action against Envision, Verint seeks enhanced damages for willful infringement and an award of attorneys' fees.  Despite similar allegations, Verint did not include willful infringement claims in its complaints against Uptivity and VPI.

The cases are:

Verint Systems, Inc. et al. v. Envision Telephony, Inc., 1:14-cv-00260-TWT, filed on Jan. 29, 2014 in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.
Verint Systems, Inc. et al. v. CallCopy, Inc., 1:14-cv-00523-TWT, filed on Feb. 21, 2014 in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.
Verint Systems, Inc. et al. v. Voice Print Int'l., Inc., 1:14-cv-00717-TWT, filed on Mar. 11, 2014 in the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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