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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
July 5, 2019, Decided
[*884] Prost, Chief Judge.
Bridge and Post, Inc. appeals the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which dismissed Bridge and Post's complaints under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The district court held that the claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,657,594, 8,862,747, and 9,659,314 were ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Bridge & Post, Inc. v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 319 F. Supp. 3d 818, 821 (E.D. Va. 2018). For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.
Bridge and Post filed a complaint in February 2017 accusing Verizon Communications, Inc., Cellco Partnership d/b/a [**2] Verizon Wireless, Verizon Internet Services Inc., Verizon Online LLC, and AOL Inc. (collectively "Verizon") of infringing claims 1, 15, and 24 of U.S. Patent No. 7,657,594 (the "'594 patent") and claims 1 and 10 of U.S. Patent No. 8,862,747 (the "'747 patent"). In October 2017, Bridge and Post filed a second complaint accusing Verizon and Oath Inc. of infringing claims 1, 20, and 21 of U.S. Patent No. 9,659,314 (the "'314 patent"), a newly issued continuation of the '747 patent. The cases were consolidated shortly thereafter.
All three patents describe tracking a user's computer network activity and using information gained about the user to deliver targeted media, such as advertisements. See '594 patent col. 1 ll. 20-22. Tailoring advertisements based on real-time information about the user and their location allows a publisher to "maximize their advertising revenues." Id. at col. 3 ll. 4-7.
The concept of tailoring advertisements based on user data did not originate with these patents. The practice dates back at least to local radio and television advertisements, which played only for users located in specific cities and were published in-between otherwise national programs. '747 patent col. 1 ll. 28-33. In the computer context, prior art systems tracked users based on their personal accounts on a website, or by using small [**3] programs, known as cookies, downloaded onto users' devices. '594 patent col. 1 ll. 28-33. A user's location could be approximately determined by the IP address of their device, but this was occasionally imprecise. '747 patent col. 2 ll. 26-37. Moreover, cookie-based tailoring was disfavored as users expressed "concerns about privacy and data security" by routinely deleting their cookies and other tracking information. Id. at col. 2 ll. 59-63.
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778 Fed. Appx. 882 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20045 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 249397; 2019 WL 2896449
BRIDGE AND POST, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant v. VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, INC., CELLCO PARTNERSHIP, DBA VERIZON WIRELESS, VERIZON INTERNET SERVICES INC., VERIZON ONLINE LLC, AOL INC., OATH INC., Defendants-Appellees
Notice: THIS DECISION WAS ISSUED AS UNPUBLISHED OR NONPRECEDENTIAL AND MAY NOT BE CITED AS PRECEDENT. PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Nos. 3:17-cv-00094-JAG, 3:17-cv-00710-JAG, Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.
Bridge & Post, Inc. v. Verizon Communs., Inc., 319 F. Supp. 3d 818, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42990 (E.D. Va., Mar. 15, 2018)
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