On Tuesday, Express Mobile filed nine patent infringement suits against Google, Microsoft, eBay, Expedia Group, HubSpot, Dropbox, Facebook, Atlassian Corp., and Squarespace, alleging that the defendants infringed their patented methods for website creation and content display. The suits were filed in a variety of courts including the Western District of Texas, the District of Delaware, and the Northern District of California.
For example, in Express Mobile’s suit against Google, the patents-in-suit, which relate to website creation and displaying content on devices, are United States Patent Nos. 6,546,397 (the ’397 patent), 7,594,168 (the ’168 patent), 9,928,044 (the ’044 patent), 9,471,287 (the ’287 patent), and 9,063,755 (the ’755 patent).
Google purportedly infringed at least claim 1 of the ’397 patent through “its Google Docs Document and Presentation Extensions (the ‘Accused Instrumentality’) that provided browser-based website authoring tools in which the user-selected settings representing website elements are stored in a database and in which said stored information is retrieved to generate said website.” The plaintiff claimed that the Accused Instrumentality allowed a user “to produce a website through a browser on the user’s computer.”
The websites were purportedly created through drive.google.com or docs.google.com. Users could select elements from a panel and add items like a picture, or right-click to open a description panel. Furthermore, user changes, such as adjusting the brightness of an image would be reflected in the display. These changes would be stored in Google’s database and “reflected in the HTML of the page” as described in the patent. The user could click on document settings to “generate a website,” by selecting the document link, which also allowed a user to share it with others. This document and “website” generated by a user would be stored on Google’s database allegedly in violation of the ’397 patent.
Google allegedly infringed at least claim 1 of the ’044 patent because its Accused Instrumentality purportedly “generates code to provide content on a display of a device.” It also allegedly stores the content and settings in a database “in order to serve the designed ads on the designed page and across the Internet on all pages signed up to display Google AdSense ads. The menus also have various names for different web components, including fonts and display outputs, which allow a user to edit an ad.
The associated page components and their corresponding memory name are configured to allow access to select the symbolic name that corresponds to the web component UI item. Additionally, the Accused Instrumentality has a tool that defines a UI object to present on the display. According to the plaintiff, this infringed their ’044 patent.
The plaintiff asserted that Google was notified of its alleged infringement, but continued to infringe the patents-in-suit willfully and intentionally. The complaint sought a declaratory judgment in the plaintiff’s favor, an award for damages, and other relief.
The allegations against the other defendants were similar to the claims against Google.
Express Mobile is represented by Feinberg Day Kramer Alberti Lim Tonkovich & Belloli LLP with Parker, Bunt & Ainsworth, P.C.