Pandora Wins Judgment on the Pleadings in Patent Dispute

On Wednesday, Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District California granted Pandora Media, LLC’s (Defendant) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in a patent infringement suit brought by Bluebonnet Internet Media Services, LLC (Plaintiff). As Judge Chhabria summarizes Plaintiff’s claims, “ Bluebonnet alleges that Pandora has infringed three of its patents, each of which describes essentially the same computer system for generating media playlists based on a user’s ratings. Certain claims also further describe functions for sharing playlists with another user.”

Plaintiff alleges that it is a Texas Limited Liability Company and the “owner by assignment” of the relevant patents. On its website, Defendant describes itself as “… the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S.”(see

Judge Chhabria granted Defendant’s motion for two reasons. First the judge notes the general principle that “Abstract ideas are not patentable,” and concludes that Plaintiff’s patents purport to do just that. Second, he notes that, “Patent claims directed to an abstract idea may nonetheless be patentable if the claims contain an ‘inventive concept,’ either individually or taken together…. The inventive concept must add ‘significantly more’ to the abstract idea,  enough to ‘transform’ it into a ‘patent-eligible application of the abstract idea…” (citations omitted). The judge found no such “inventive concept” in this case.

On September 8th, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal to the Federal Circuit.

The Notice of Appeal lists three counsel for Plaintiff: Carstens, Allen & Gourley LLP; Sheridan Ross P.C.; and Scott Law Group LLP .

A Pandora spokesperson provided the following statement:

“Pandora is pleased with the outcome, and thanks the court and its staff for their efforts. As this case demonstrates, Pandora will not fall victim to the shakedown tactics of nonpracticing entities and will vigorously defend itself against baseless claims.”