Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Datamize, LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc. case brief

Datamize, LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc. case brief summary
417 F.3d 1342 (2005)

Plaintiff patent owner sought review of a decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which granted summary judgment in favor of defendant accused infringer, because the district court found that the patent at issue was invalid as indefinite pursuant to 35 U.S.C.S. § 112, P2.

The owner filed an action alleging that the electronic kiosk authoring system, a software program, was infringed upon by the accued. The authoring system at issue enabled the user to interface for each individual kiosk and to customize each kiosk quickly and easily within wide limits of variation.


  • The district court granted summary judgment to the accused, finding that the claim was invalid due to indefiniteness because the claim described the on-screen characteristics to be within a desired uniform and with an "aesthetically pleasing" look and feel for all interface screens in the kiosk system. 
  • The district court found that the term "aesthetically pleasing" was indefinite and not capable of objective interpretation. 
  • Affirming, the court agreed with the district court that the term was indefinite. 
  • The owner had not identified any standard for determining whether or not the interface screen was "aesthetically pleasing," because the phrase was entirely subjective. 
  • The court determined that the claim did not provide any standard for measuring whether or not an interface screen was "aesthetically pleasing."

The court affirmed the decision of the district court.

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