Nathan Myhrvold
Nathan Myhrvold

Intellectual Ventures has been having a rough year, and the hits just keep coming.

Last week, Alex Trenga, a judge from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, issued a summary judgment against the patent holding company in its patent infringement lawsuit against Capital One. Trenga found that the pair of IV patents which were still at issue in the case were invalid, and threw out the case.

Trenga held that neither the first patent, which governs the “Administration of financial accounts,” nor the second, which governs an “Advanced internet interface providing user display access of customized webpages,” met the criteria to be considered patentable.

“There is no inventive technology or other inventive concept that authorizes the protections of a patent, such as an improvement in the workings of the computer or the transmissibility of data or some other transformation of data into something qualitatively beyond the informational context of the data entered, even though the data might be organized and manipulated to disclose useful correlations,” Trenga wrote.

Unsurprisingly, IV was not thrilled with the outcome of the case, but says that it plans to soldier on with more lawsuits.

Intellectual-Ventures“We are disappointed with the court’s decision and are considering our options. But, our patent portfolio is deep and we have another action pending against Capital One in Maryland. We remain committed to defending our intellectual property rights, as well as those of our customers and investors,” Melissa Finocchio, Chief Litigation Counsel for Intellectual Ventures, said in a press release.

Capital One is part of a group of several banks IV sued for patent infringement last year. The others, which have been sued over a number of patents relating to banking, include Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

The Bellevue-based patent firm, which was founded by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has been facing a number of setbacks in recent months. IV laid off 5 percent of its workforce in March, and a number of past investors, including Apple and Google, are staying away from the company’s $3 billion fundraising effort. The company announced last week that Andy Elder, its head of licensing, had resigned his post for personal reasons and will leave the company at the end of the month.

Trenga’s opinion is embedded below.

[This post has been updated to correct the amount of money Intellectual Ventures is looking to raise.]

Comments

  • guest

    Tough times for IV. Time for Nathan to raise funds w/ another cookbook :-)

  • Troll Me

    Finally, companies are standing up to what amounts to nothing more than a Mafia shakedown. I’m still waiting for all of the IV “inventions” that they’re working on to bear fruit. I’m guessing Nathan is figuring out that in most cases filing a patent is a whole lot easier then building a company and generating revenues from customers that actually want to buy your products and services.

  • Typo

    I think it’s a 3 Billion dollar fundraising effort – not a 3 million dollar raise.

    • Kevin Mansel

      I thought the same thing…3m seemed rather small.

      • Blair Hanley Frank

        Thanks for pointing that out–I’ve corrected the article.

  • Louise Penberthy

    I despise patent trolls. My dad started three business, had patents in his own name as well as his companies’. The patent system in this country benefitted him the way it’s supposed to. And when the patents expired, that was that.

  • elbowman

    BBbbbbwwwaaaaaHaHa!!!

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