By Al Barbarino
One of the largest U.S. REITs has won a patent infringement case brought against it by NorthMobileTech in the Western District of Wisconsin.
The District Court ruled that Simon Property Group’s “SIMON MALLS – more choices” iPhone and Android app does not infringe upon NMT’s patent for an invention known as “Marketing Method.”
NMT argued that Simon’s app – which interacts with computer servers to distribute marketing materials related to their shopping facilities to mobile devices – infringed upon the “Marketing Method” patent. The District Court denied that claim.
The judgment was “a vindication of both our client’s strong case and our focused defense strategy,” said Timothy Carroll, a partner at Perkins Coie, who acted as Simon Property Group’s lead lawyer. “This victory was a true cross-office effort and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
NMT’s “Marketing Method” determines whether a user is located at a participating shopping mall; if so the server generates marketing materials specific to that mall and transmits it to the user’s mobile device.
A key to the Court ruling was the finding that, unlike NMT’s system, Simon’s App does not require a mobile device to be located “at” a mall.
Simon’s app “is designed to function the same way, whether a user is standing in the middle of a mall or 300 miles distant,” the court documents state.
The District Court also barred the plaintiff’s expert from testifying on any “marketing-related” issues – a blow to the plaintiff in proving that the marketing strategy constituted an infringement.
In addition, Simon was awarded fees due to the plaintiff’s “concealment and disposition of evidence” necessary to support their case. The fee award could be “substantial,” according to a statement from Perkins Coie.
The Perkins Coie team included Tim Carroll, David Jones, Steve Lubezny, Manny Caixeiro and Sarah Walkenhorst.