On Friday, March 11, 2016, the US Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed U.S. District Judge James V. Selna’s ruling confirming the unpatentability and invalidity of Essociate’s patent.
Last February, the parent company of CrakRevenue won the first round of a hard-fought patent battle filed by Essociate, Inc. Essociate claimed the company was infringing on their patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,804,660. Their patent described a method and system for configuring an existing affiliate network to receive “virtual affiliates” from an affiliate pooling network. Essociate has used its patent to sue more than 20 companies in the affiliate networking space for infringing on the ‘660 patent.
Essociate sued CrakRevenue’s affiliate program in April 2014 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Essociate alleged willful patent infringement and asked to be awarded damages, lost profits, attorney fees, and a permanent injunction.
But unlike many other companies, Nicolas Chrétien - Founder & President of CrakRevenue - chose not to settle. In January 2015, after months of litigation, he obtained an order from the District Court striking all of Essociate’s infringement contentions. The parent company of CrakRevenue then teamed up with Clickbooth.com, which had also been sued, to challenge the validity of the Essociate patent. The District Court granted the CPA network motion, declaring Essociate’s patent claims invalid.
A year ago, this was a significant case for companies accused of infringing on patents that try to monopolize on abstract ideas on common Internet business practices when Essociate made an appeal of the judgment.
The US Federal Circuit's decision settles this judicial battle once and for all, sending a loud and clear message.
CrakRevenue's founder and CEO, Nicolas Chretien, said of the decision,
“It’s a big day for us. We fought for something we believed in, although a settlement would have certainly been less costly than litigation, we couldn’t let patent trolls continue to bully us and others in our industry. We can now focus on the goal we set four years ago: centralize all the industry’s top offers with the CrakRevenue network.”