Intellectual Property Analysis of Webvention LLC's US Pat. No. 5,251,294

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Report Date: 
Wed, 2010-10-20

This week’s Patently Obvious report focuses on US Pat. No. 5,251,294, which Webvention LLC purchased from Intellectual Ventures.

The ‘294 patent describes a mouseover expansion feature that is common to many websites. Webvention, a non-operating entity based in Eastern Texas, claims to have licensed the '294 patent to 144 companies since its purchase from Intellectual Ventures. In addition, the company has filed two lawsuits since July accusing more than 35 companies of patent infringement. However, there are a handful of companies that will not surrender to the threat of antagonistic litigation. Novartis, TriMas, Instinet and Tenneco Automotive Operating Company have all filed counter suits asking that the patent be invalidated.

Using the M•CAM DOORS™ software platform, the innovation space surrounding the asserted patent was examined in order to understand its strength and defensibility in the face of prior and concurrent art innovations.

This report focuses on entities of interest with patents and innovations that predate or coexist with the holdings of Webvention, as well as public-domain alternatives.