WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Vringo Inc. said Wednesday its wholly-owned subsidiary, I/P Engine Inc., will file a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seeking an en banc review of a decision the court issued last week.

I/P Engine -- which describes itself as a “leading intellectual property advisor” -- sued Google Inc., AOL Inc., IAC Search & Media Inc., Gannett Company Inc. and Target Corp., alleging they infringed on U.S. Patent Nos. 6,314,420 and 6,775,664.

The patents cover ways of filtering Internet search results to make them more relevant.

Specifically, the ‘420 and ‘664 patents both claim priority to the same parent patent, U.S. Patent No. 5,867,799. They relate to a method for filtering search results that utilizes both content-based and collaborative filtering.

Content-based filtering is a technique for determining relevance by extracting features such as text from an information item. Collaborative filtering assesses relevance based on feedback from other users.

On Friday, a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit held that the asserted claims are invalid for obviousness, reversing a jury’s decision in 2012 that found the companies had infringed on the patents and awarded I/P Engine more than $30 million in damages.

“The asserted claims describe a system that combines content and collaborative data in filtering each ‘informon’ -- or information item -- for relevance to an individual user’s search query,” the 19-page per curiam opinion states.

“As the asserted patents themselves acknowledge, however, search engines, content-based filtering and collaborative filtering were all well-known in the art at the time of the claimed invention.

“The record is replete, moreover, with prior art references recognizing that content-based and collaborative filtering are complimentary techniques that can be effectively combined.”

Under the Federal Circuit’s rules, I/P Engine’s petition for a review of the full court is due Sept. 15.

However, the company said it has filed an unopposed motion seeking a 30-day extension, making its petition due Oct. 15.

Google, for one, said it is pleased with the court’s ruling.

“We always believed strongly in our case,” said Catherine Lacavera, director of IP litigation for the technology giant.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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