Home > Intellectual Property > Google Says Alice Kills Priceline Founder’s Photo Tag Patent

Google Says Alice Kills Priceline Founder’s Photo Tag Patent

Google Inc. recently invoked the Supreme Court’s Alice decision in its bid to throw out a suit brought by the founder of Priceline.com over a patent for photo tagging technology, saying the patent does nothing more than identify a person in a photograph.

Google asserts that Inventor Holdings LLC is trying to claim an abstract idea that doesn’t disclose any new technology. Instead, the patent merely attempts to monopolize the high-level steps for taking two images, comparing them, determining the name of the person in the photo and asking the user if that name is correct.

“This method has been applied by any person who has ever put together a scrapbook,” Google said. “The patent does not claim or even disclose any new technology or algorithm for recognizing or comparing faces.”

Google argued in that the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2014 ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank International should translate into a win for the tech giant.

The claims in the patent add “no inventive concept” to the abstract idea of identifying and labeling photographs based on the name of the person in the photo and should therefore be invalidated, Google argued.

Inventor Holdings, which owns the patents developed by inventor Jay Walker’s Walker Digital LLC, accused Google in a February 2014 lawsuit of infringing its patent, which covers technology that suggests and stores metadata of photos online.

Walker Digital assigned its patents to Inventor Holdings as part of a corporate restructuring in September 2013. In the restructuring, Inventor Holdings became a wholly owned subsidiary of Patent Properties Inc., a public company controlled by Walker and Walker Digital.

For more information, see Law360.



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