Leftover Pizza? Domino’s Reheats Pizza Hut’s Invalidity Claim Against Ameranth Inc.September 18, 2018

Ameranth Inc. asserts it is a leading provider of wireless and Internet based solutions for the hospitality/gaming markets and that it has a very strong intellectual property portfolio including numerous strategic patents in technologies such as Wireless POS, Table Management, Reservations Management, Mobile Concierge, Electronic Menus, Guest Surveys, Inventory Management, Health Care Services and Enrollment Assistance.

Ameranth Inc. was originally in a dispute with Pizza Hut over whether Pizza Hut Inc. infringed its ‘077 patent. The ‘077 patent relates to dining sales, and more particularly, to an information management and synchronous communications system. Ameranth eventually settled with Pizza Hut without ever reaching a decision on the merits of whether the ‘077 patent was, in fact, even valid.

Domino’s, fearing future litigation over the same patent, took initiative and asked to join and revive Pizza Hut’s motion for summary judgment asserting invalidity of the ‘077 patent, saying it was essential to reach a conclusion on the merits for the sake of the remaining 30+ defendants who are now named in the present, consolidated litigation. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw granted the motion even though the motion was untimely reasoning that the issue of patentability was too critical not to be resolved.

The new hearing is set for this Friday, September 21, and could affect how numerous restaurants selling pizza online are able to conduct business moving forward.

Gregory “Lars” Gunnerson is a Patent Attorney in the Mechanical and Electrical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information, please visit www.ipmvs.com or contact Lars directly via email at gregory.gunnerson@ipmvs.com.

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