The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled Washington-based Snapizzi’s image tagging technology patent invalid. The decision comes following a two-year battle with Raleigh-based software company ImageQuix, which used to be headquartered in Greenville.
In fall 2018, ImageQuix released its latest photography workflow software, which included image tagging, and Snapizzi began contacting the company and insisting that it purchase a license. The software company reviewed the patent with its counsel and filed a lawsuit asking the court to hold Snapizzi’s patent invalid and not infringed since photo tagging was not new to the industry. Snapfizzi responded with a counterclaim alleging patent infringement.
“It’s never an easy decision to take on the burden of a long court proceeding, but we felt it was our duty as industry leaders to go on the offensive,” said ImageQuix CEO Rich Scanlon. “This ruling is also vindication for the school photo industry as a whole.”
In December 2019, the District Court ruled the patent invalid under the United States Supreme Court 2014 ruling Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which found that a computer-implemented electronic escrow service was an abstract idea and therefore ineligible for patent protection under 35 USC § 101.
In response to the District Court’s ruling, Snapizzi appealed to the Federal Circuit Court, and last week the court affirmed the previous ruling.