Frontline Placement Technologies, Inc. v. CRS, Inc.
Frontline’s system, known as “Aesop,” used Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Internet-based software systems to facilitate the automated posting of worker absences and the scheduling of substitute teachers to fill those absences. Frontline alleged that CRS had infringed its patent by subsequently developing a competing substitute fulfillment system that incorporated many of the features and functions of the Aesop system. CRS countered that the Frontline patent claims at issue were invalid and therefore not entitled to patent protection. CRS further argued that the CRS system did not infringe the claims of Frontline’s patent.
On behalf of CRS, DisputeSoft reviewed source code and the Frontline patent prosecution history, researched and analyzed prior art references, and issued expert reports regarding both non-infringement and invalidity. DisputeSoft software patent infringement expert Jeff Parmet concluded that the disputed claims were invalid and that CRS’s software program did not infringe the Frontline patent.
On September 16, 2012, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), CRS filed a petition with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for post-grant review of the validity of Frontline’s patent claims. In its petition, CRS argued that the claims of Frontline’s patent recited unpatentable subject matter and lacked adequate written description. DisputeSoft prepared a declaration in support of CRS’s petition, which the PTAB granted. After conducting a transitional covered business method review of the Frontline patent, on January 21, 2014, the PTAB held that all Frontline patent claims at issue were invalid and unpatentable under Section 101 of the Patent Act.
The PTAB’s decision is subject to appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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