Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walker Digital v. Amazon, Apple et al. - '942 Product Substitution Complaint

As mentioned earlier, on April 11, 2011, Walker Digital, LLC filed a number complaints for patent infringement in the US District Court for the District of Delaware.

In another of the complaints involving Apple, the patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 7,236,942Pre-sale data broadcast system and method.  [Full Complaint]  Listed inventors are Jay. S Walker himself, Daniel E. Tedesco, and Magdalena Mik.  The application was filed December 28, 1998, though it is a CIP of two other applications, one dating to December 19, 1997.

Defendants are Amazon, Apple, B&N, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Dell, Ebay, Expedia, Gap, GSI Commerce Solutions, Macy's, Microsoft, NBA Media Ventures, Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, Overstock, Saks Direct, Target, Verizon, WalMart, and others.

Agility IP Law, LLC attorneys including James C. Otteson are listed Of Counsel for Walker Digital.  Local counsel are Richard D. Kirk and Stephen B. Brauerman of Bayard, P.A.


Regarding Apple:

Upon information and belief, Defendant Apple is infringing (literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents) the ‘942 patent in this District and throughout the United States by, among other things, making and using systems for promoting a sale of a substitute product, including iTunes, covered by, without limitation, claims 1, 12 and 13 of the ‘942 patent. By way of example and without limitation, Defendant receives transaction data from a consumer regarding an original product, such as DVD movie, through iTunes, transmits that data to its server to determine a possible substitute product, such as a different DVD movie, offers the substitute product to the consumer through iTunes, consummates the sale of the original product if no information concerning a substitute product offering is received or the consumer declines the substitute offering, and consummates the sale of the substitute product upon acceptance of the offer of the substitute product by the consumer.


Claim 1, for reference:

1. A method for promoting a sale of a substitute product, comprising:

  • receiving transaction data regarding an original product presented for purchase by a consumer at a point of sale terminal;
  • transmitting said transaction data to a remote server of a manufacturer during a transaction session for determination of a possible substitute product to be offered to said consumer;
  • upon receipt of information regarding said substitute product from said remote server, offering said substitute product to said consumer before the transaction session terminates;
  • consummating a sale of said original product if at least one of
    • (a) no information regarding said substitute product is received from said remote server, and
    • (b) said consumer declines said offering; and
  • consummating a sale of said substitute product upon acceptance by said consumer of said offering.


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