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DataTern, Inc. v. MicroStrategy, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 9, 2016

DATATERN, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MICROSTRATEGY, INC.; EPICOR SOFTWARE CORPORATION; CARL WARREN & CO., INC.; LANCET SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT, INC.; TERADATA CORPORATION; PREMIER, INC.; and AIRLINES REPORTING CORPORATION, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO REQUIRE PLAINTIFF TO POST A BOND

F. Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge

This is a patent dispute concerning a claimed method for facilitating the interaction between software and computerized databases. The claimed patent, U.S. Patent No. 6, 101, 502, recites “[a] method for interfacing an object oriented software application with a relational database.” ’502 patent claim 1. Plaintiff DataTern, Inc., asserts patent infringement on the part of defendant MicroStrategy, Inc., and a number of its customers.

The case was remanded from the Federal Circuit after a prior entry of judgment for defendants. That judgment was based on a stipulation by DataTern that it could not prove infringement if the Court adopted the claim construction of a particular term (“to create at least one interface object”) that had been determined by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in a separate case involving the ’502 patent. Because the Court adopted that construction, it entered a judgment of non-infringement in favor of all defendants. On December 19, 2014, the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment, finding that the claim construction of the New York court had been incorrect. MicroStrategy then filed two separate motions for summary judgment, one based on invalidity for non-patentable subject matter, and another based on non-infringement. The Court denied both motions in September 2015.

In expectation of prevailing on the merits and collecting its fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285, MicroStrategy has moved to require DataTern to post a bond to preemptively cover its costs and fees. For the following reasons, the motion will be denied.

I. Background

A. Factual Background

The Federal Circuit has described the ’502 patent as follows:

The ’502 patent is directed to interfacing an object oriented software application to access data stored in a relational database. ’502 patent col. 1 ll. 22-24, 53-55. An object oriented application cannot easily interface with a relational database because of the structural differences between the objects in the application and the tables in the database. Id. col. 1 ll. 25-49. To solve this problem, the ’502 patent discloses creating “interface objects” that act as intermediaries between the object oriented application and the relational database. Id. col. 2 ll. 34-38. The patent discloses selecting an “object model, ” generating a map between the database schema and the object model, and creating the interface object using the map. Id. col. 2 ll. 28-34, 40-44. A “runtime engine” accesses data in the relational database using the interface object. Id. col. 2 ll. 34-38, Fig. 1.

DataTern, Inc. v. Epicor Software Corp., 599 F. App’x 948, 950 (2014).

Claim 1 of the ’502 patent is representative and reads as follows:

A method for interfacing an object oriented software application with a relational database, comprising the steps of

selecting an object model;
generating a map of at least some relationships between schema in the database and the selected object model;
employing the map to create at least one interface object associated with an object corresponding to a class associated with the object ...

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