In a case filed earlier this year in federal court in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Civil Action No. 2:11cv43), plaintiff, VS Technologies, LLC, alleged that defendant, Twitter, Inc., infringed its patent entitled “Method and System for Creating an Interactive Virtual Community of Famous People.” In response to the complaint, Twitter, Inc. denied the infringement allegations and claimed that the patent was invalid as anticipated, obvious or abstract. The technology at issue allegedly was invented by a patent lawyer in Northern Virginia with the rights to the patent later assigned to VS Technologies, LLC. Through trial, VS Technologies, LLC claimed that Twitter, Inc. used its patented technology to develop Twitter, Inc.’s “browse interest” page on the social networking website.
After six days of trial in the federal court in Norfolk in front of Judge Henry Coke Morgan Jr., the jury returned a verdict in favor of Twitter, Inc. on October 31, 2011. The jury found no infringement of the patent by Twitter, Inc. and found that the patent was invalid as anticipated, obvious, and abstract. Based on the comments made after trial, it is unclear whether VS Technologies, LLC plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
–Kristan B. Burch