Target Sued For Image Capturing System Patent Infringement

On Friday, plaintiff Lennon Image Technologies, LLC filed suit, alleging that defendant Target Corporation has and is infringing on its United States Patent No. 6,624,843 (the ‘843 patent). The Eastern District of Texas complaint explains that Lennon’s patent enables retailers to offer their customers a virtual try-on tool using a phone or mobile device camera. It claims that the “Target Beauty Studio Tool,” which permits users to try on makeup virtually, infringes one or more claims of the ‘843 patent.

The filing explains that Texas-based and organized Lennon owns the ‘843 patent by assignment. It was originally issued in September 2003 and is entitled, “Customer Image Capture and Use Thereof in a Retailing System,” the complaint avers. Specifically, “[t]he application that matured into the ’843 Patent was filed on December 8, 2000, and claims priority to a provisional application filed on December 10, 1999,” the filing explains. Allegedly, in 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a decision on appeal concerning the ’843 patent. The decision reportedly affirmed the patentability of certain original and new claims.

In particular, the filing explains, Lennon’s invention relates to a “method and apparatus for capturing a person’s image and using the captured image in a retailing system.” It reportedly works by manipulating a digitized image of the customer in order to display the selected apparel on the customer for their review.

Target, the filing claims, sells wares online. It also makes use of a “web-based virtual try-on tool,” the Target Beauty Studio Tool. The filing claims that Target uses a method prescribed in the ‘843 patent. Among other things, the tool allegedly “generates a composite image comprising the customer image and one of at least one apparel style image corresponding to a potential purchase item including by retrieving the customer image in response to a request for the composite image.”

As a result of Target’s actions, the plaintiff claims, it “has suffered, is suffering, and will continue to suffer injury and damages.” The complaint requests a jury trial and seeks a judgment declaring that Target has infringed, that the plaintiff has been harmed, awarding damages and treble damages for willful infringement, interest, royalties, and its costs.

Lennon is represented by Buether Joe & Counselors, LLC.