The patent infringement case between Link Electronics and Enco Systems centered on the former’s automatic captioning engine line
Link Electronics has announced that Enco Systems, INC’s lawsuit against DaVincia, LLC dba Link Electronics over patent infringement has been dismissed with prejudice and further, that Enco Systems’ motion for reconsideration has been denied.
The case centered on patent, No. 7,047,191, entitled Method and System for Providing Automated Captioning for AV Signals which was purchased by Enco Systems in October 2017. Enco claimed that DaVincia (Link Electronics) was infringing upon their patent with Link Electronics automatic captioning engine line, the ACE series. DaVincia denied all claims of infringement on multiple grounds, including that the patent is an unpatentable abstract idea.
United States District Court Judge, Stephen Limbaugh, Jr. agreed with DaVincia LLC’s move to dismiss all asserted claims against it, finding Enco’s patent invalid, and dismissed the case with prejudice on March 20, 2020. A ruling of dismissal with prejudice means that the lawsuit has been dismissed based on the merits of the case after a judgment has been issued, and that the plaintiff cannot file a lawsuit on the same issue at a later date, effectively ending the years-long dispute.
“There is ‘[no]need for any special hardware,’” in Enco’s patent, “-just ‘conventional’ components of any variety sufficient to achieve the stated function, and various “configurations [of the]AV captioning system … [can]be used,” explained Judge Limbaugh. “In that regard, [Enco’s] patent calls for any ‘conventional speech-to-text software application [to be used],” he said. “But, nowhere does the 191 Patent suggest its purpose is to specifically improve speech-to-text processing software, and nowhere does it explain how this is to be accomplished.”
The patent does nothing to specify ways to improve speech to text software and according to the ruling does not contain an inventive concept that would make the patent anything more than an unpatentable abstract idea. It is simply an invalid “do it on a computer” patent.
Enco Systems filed for reconsideration arguing that DaVincia did not prove that the elements of the original patent claim were well understood and conventional. On May 5, 2020, Enco Systems was denied its motion for reconsideration. Judge Limbaugh reiterated that the patent, “specifically does not call for ‘any special hardware other than what is presently available’.”
Dave Kendall, President of Link Electronics was confident from the start on their non-infringement position. “Enco was simply grasping at straws with this lawsuit. We are extremely pleased with the work our lawyers at Honigman did and are even happier with the outcome,” said Kendall. “We’re thrilled that we can return our focus to helping broadcast facilities, municipalities, schools and universities and others, with automated captioning solutions so that they can better serve their viewers, students, customers and constituents.”