Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Purple Leaf LLC V/s Google Inc

[Update 1:Purple Leaf has now also sued Amazon for infringing the '311 patent on July 25, 2011. This was an expected move and many experts had already speculated that Amazon would also be dragged in the lawsuit involving the '311 patent]

[Update2: Purple Leaf has also filed a patent infringement lawsuit involving the '311 patent against eBay and Paypal in the Texas Eastern District Court on July 12, 2011. Court case number is 6:11-cv-00360]

Purple Leaf has filed a patent infringement suit against Google Inc in the Texas Eastern District Court on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. According to SouthEast Texas's Legal Journal records, Purple Leaf is a Texas limited liability company having a principal place of business in Plano. Purple Leaf had recently filed a patent infringement suit against six defendants in the same Texas Eastern District Court on May 31, 2011 alleging infringement of US7603311 patent by the defendants. The defendants included Fiserv, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup, American Express Company, PNC Bank and SAP America. 

Though, the assignee information is not present in the full text of the '331 patent, the assignment history shows that the '311 patent is owned by Purple Leaf. Current information on the patent infringement suit against Google does not mention the patent number(s), however, an assignee based search on Purple Leaf revealed that only the '311 patent is assigned to Purple Leaf. Thus, it is safe to assume that the patent-in-suit in Google's case is also the '311 patent.

Details about the '311 patent:

The '311 patent claims priority from provisional patent application serial nos.  60/170,829 filed Dec. 14, 1999,  60/167,938 filed Nov. 29, 1999,60/174,123 filed Dec. 31, 1999, 60/174,124 filed Dec. 31, 1999 and 60/199,910 filed Apr. 26, 2000. Primarily, the '311 patent is focused on method and system for performing electronic transactions. The '311 patent has 39 claims, including 4 independent claims. I have reproduced the first independent claim of the '311 patent from the USPTO website.

"A method for conducting a transaction using a medium based on a receipt having payment remittance information, comprising: enabling a payor to authorize a payment due on the receipt to a payee; associating, using a processor, the payment with the payment remittance information; communicating, using the processor, the payment instructions directly to the payee to initiate payment of the amount; and wherein the payment remittance information is arranged within a data structure, the data structure comprising one or more data fields to hold data that the payor can enter, and the payment remittance information further comprises a structured remittance data that is kept hidden from the payee."

It would be interesting to see how Google, which is already in the middle of the Android lawsuits, reacts to this lawsuit by Purple Leaf.

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