Searchmetrics wins important victory in patent infringement lawsuit

Federal judge invalidates five patents SEO platform provider Brightedge claimed in lawsuit against competitor Searchmetrics.

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An important ruling was issued last Friday in the four-year-old patent infringement lawsuit that SEO platform BrightEdge filed against competitor Searchmetrics. The California federal court judge sided with defendant Searchmetrics, ending a long and expensive court battle.

At issue in the federal case were five patents Brightedge claimed were being infringed upon by competitive SEO platform Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics successfully argued that the patents owned by Brightedge were both abstract and broad and thus did not offer an “inventive concept” that satisfied precedent (Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 2014) which ruled that abstract ideas are not patentable under Section 101 of the Patent Act — unless the claim contains an “inventive concept” that sufficiently transforms the idea into an application that then becomes patent-eligible.

In his ruling, the judge agreed, invalidating the five patents owned by Brightedge. The plaintiffs had requested that a sixth patent be amended to the suit but the judge denied this request as well, advising that they would need to file a new lawsuit to address that new/additional patent dispute.

For Searchmetrics, this is an important victory that’s been a long — and expensive — battle to win. I reached out to Searchmetrics’ CTO Marcus Tober, who said:

In our competitive industry the ruling means that we can all focus even more on what matters most: applying innovation that helps our customers to succeed online.

We also reached out to Brightedge for comment but have not received any and will update when we do.

Update January 24, 2018:
Brightedge CEO Jim Yu responded to our comment request, emphasizing the company’s priority of continuing innovation:

At BrightEdge, our number one priority is customer success and we will continue our rapid pace of innovation for the benefit of our customers and the wider search community. To this point, just last week we launched news on our 10-years of Innovation and acceleration towards being an AI first company. Innovation is at the core of everything we do, and everything we will continue to do.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Michelle Robbins
Michelle Robbins, former SVP Content & Marketing Technology, overseeing editorial direction as Editor in Chief for Third Door Media's digital publications, Search Engine Land, MarTech and MarTech Today, directing a full-time staff of reporters and editors managing contributed content. She was responsible for developing the content strategy across all properties and aligning those initiatives with the programming and audience goals for Third Door Media's two leading marketing conference series, Search Marketing Expo and The MarTech Conference. In addition, Michelle oversaw information technology operations, directing the marketing technology department. An experienced domestic and international keynote and featured speaker, she enjoys connecting with the community at SMX, MarTech and other industry events. Connect online with Michelle on Twitter @MichelleRobbins, and Linkedin.

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