Digitech, a subsidiary of the non-practicing entity Acacia Research Corporation, had filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against EFI and dozens of others, including EFI customers and retailers like Overstock.com and Buy.com, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,128,415. EFI requested that the court strike the infringement allegations against EFI's products and invalidate the asserted patent.
On Aug. 6, 2013, the court invalidated the patent and entered judgment against Digitech and in favor of EFI and the other remaining 34 defendants. Rejecting Digitech's efforts to save its patent, the court recognized that even Digitech's most "creative arguments" could not "salvage an unpatentable principle and transform it into a patentable process." The court concluded that asserted claims are "intangible, possess no meaningful non-abstract limitations, and are therefore ineligible for patent protection."
While Digitech had extracted settlements from a number of parties, EFI refused to settle, insisting that it was never a proper party to the case in the first place.
"We are pleased that the court invalidated the patent, but it was clear this case should never have been filed," said EFI general counsel Bryan Ko. "It is yet another illustration of how patent trolls are clogging the judicial system and wasting public resources. Until the system changes, however, EFI won't be bullied into settling these abusive lawsuits."