Roughly a year ago several BrightEdge SEO-related patents were granted. The company almost immediately turned around and sued Searchmetrics for violation of that IP. Searchmetrics has now filed what’s called an “inter partes review” (IPR) petition to essentially invalidate some or all of them.
The essence of the trial-like IPR proceeding, conducted before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, is a review of whether “prior art” invalidates the granted patent or patents. The are five patents at the center of the dispute between the companies. Searchmetrics is directly challenging two of them:
- 8,478,700: “Opportunity identification and forecasting for search engine optimization” Granted 7/2/2013
- 8,478,746: “Operationalizing search engine optimization” Granted 7/2/2013
Searchmetrics claims that BrightEdge patents are “completely lacking in innovation” and that BrightEdge “has merely written down what many companies had already been practicing for years.” It has said that one of the other patents in the matter is derivative of the 746 patent and argues that two other patents (‘863 and ‘089) “describe what companies like Google and Adobe do and were doing many years before BrightEdge filed their patents.”
The notion, presumably, is that these additional patents will be found invalid or wrongly granted at trial. Once again I’ve embedded the original BrightEdge patent-infringement complaint below.
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