Dow Jones Wins Patent Spat Over Tech Rights

     (CN) – Ablaise Ltd. can no longer demand that Dow Jones & Co. pay for its patented technology for personalizing content on websites, the 9th Circuit ruled.

     Ablaise threatened to sue Dow Jones in 2006 unless the publisher paid for its patented technology.
     Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal and other financial news sources, responded with its own lawsuit, claiming Ablaise’s patents were invalid.
     Ablaise counterclaimed for infringement.
     Before the district court ruled on the case, Ablaise offered Dow Jones a covenant not to sue if Dow Jones dismissed the invalidity claims. But when Ablaise refused to include Dow Jones’ parent company, News Corporation, in the covenant, Dow Jones refused to drop its invalidity claims.
     In 2009 a federal judge in Washington, D.C., found the patents invalid because Ablaise’s technology was obvious, or anticipated by existing technology.
     The three-judge appellate panel upheld the judge’s invalidity finding for one of the patents. For the second, it ruled that the district court lacked jurisdiction to even consider its validity, because Ablaise had already agreed not to sue.
     “The covenant therefore extinguished any current or future case or controversy between the parties, and divested the district court of subject matter jurisdiction,” Chief Judge Paul Michel wrote.
     Dow Jones’ general counsel, Mark H. Jackson, hailed the ruling as a “complete victory for Dow Jones.”
     “The end result is that Ablaise cannot continue to pursue Dow Jones for providing personalized content on our websites,” he said.

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