Willamette Law Online

Intellectual Property


Cordance Corporation v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-23-2011
Case #: 2010-1502, -1545
U. S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit; Before: Lourie, Linn, and Dyk
Full Text Opinion: http://www.ipo.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&ContentID=30964&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm

Patents: A general jury verdict of invalidity will be upheld when there is sufficient evidence to support alternative theories of invalidity.

For full opinion:
2011 U.S.App.LEXIS 19441
2011 WL 4431138

Opinion (Linn): Cordance Corporation ("Cordance") accused Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") of infringing multiple claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,757,710 (the "'710 Patent"). Cordance alleged Amazon's "1-Click" purchasing features infringed the '710 Patent, and "features allowing customers to enter reviews of products for sale on Amazon's website" infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 5,862,325 and 6,088,717 (collectively, the "Feedback Patents"). Cordance unsuccessfully attempted to claim the filing date of an earlier application. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that "Cordance failed to link any disclosure" in the earlier patent "to any limitation in the asserted claims of the '710 Patent." Accordingly, the Court found "claims 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 of the '710 patent invalid as anticipated" by Amazon's 1995 System, which was in use more than one year before the effective date of the '710 Patent, and REVERSED the district court's grant of "JMOL to the contrary." Moreover, "a general jury verdict of invalidity should be upheld if there was sufficient evidence to support any of the alternative theories of invalidity." The question becomes, "whether the evidence, taken as a whole, was sufficient to support the jury's verdict." Thus, the Court REINSTATED the "jury's verdict of invalidity as to claim 9," and affirmed the "jury's finding of invalidity as to claim 2." Finally, the Court AFFIRMED "the remainder of the district court's determinations challenged on appeal."