Guardian Alliance Technologies Announces Miller Mendel Patent Invalidated By Federal Judge
April 21, 2022
Stockton, CA (April 21, 2022): On April 14, 2022, Judge Rodney Gilstrap, Chief District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, dismissed a software patent infringement case (with prejudice) brought by Miller Mendel, Inc (“MMI”) against the Anna Police Department, a customer of Guardian Alliance Technologies, Inc.
The invalidation of the MMI patent effectively ends all cases previously filed by MMI against several other law enforcement agencies, also Guardian customers. The invalidation also eliminates MMI’s basis for lodging threats of infringement litigation against Guardian, Guardian customers, or prospective customers.
In dismissing the action, Judge Gilstrap invalidated the MMI software patent that was the entire basis for the lawsuit, finding that it was directed to an unpatentable abstract idea and did not contain any inventive concepts. MMI, the maker and marketer of a software system known as “eSoph”, had previously sued three other law enforcement agencies for their use of the Guardian Background Investigation Software Platform, alleging that the Guardian product infringed on MMI’s now-invalidated software patent.
To read the full text of the judge’s order click here.
In October of 2017, lawyers for MMI wrote to Guardian Alliance Technologies, Inc., providing notice that Miller Mendel held a patent on background investigation software and asked that Guardian provide assurance that Guardian’s software, still under development at that time, did not infringe on the patent.
Guardian had the patent evaluated by an intellectual property attorney in Silicon Valley and was advised that the patent did not actually contain any patentable subject matter or inventive concepts. On this basis and belief Guardian continued with the development of its system and began providing it to law enforcement agencies across the country, the first of which was the Oklahoma City Police Department.
In October of 2018, MMI filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Oklahoma City PD for its use of the Guardian Platform, alleging that OKC’s use of Guardian’s software constituted infringement on MMI’s patent. MMI would go on to threaten dozens of other agencies with litigation if they elected to use Guardian and filed separate lawsuits against the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (OR), the Alaska Department of Public Safety, and the Anna Police Department (TX). Now that MMI’s patent has been invalidated, Guardian and its customers are free to continue using Guardian’s background investigation software without threat of claims of infringing MMI’s now-invalidated patent.
Guardian Alliance Technologies provides cloud-based software to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the United States. The Guardian Background Investigation Software Platform is designed to drastically improve the process of vetting and hiring public safety personnel. Use of the Guardian Platform enables agencies to complete background investigations far faster, and with more accuracy than ever before thanks to advanced data mining and management tools, time-saving automation for certain tasks, and artificial intelligence used for social media screening. All of this facilitates more expedient, high-quality hiring decisions.