UPDATE 1-Capital One defeats patent lawsuit brought by Intellectual Ventures

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:45pm EDT

(Adds IV statement, detail from ruling and IV background)

By Dan Levine

April 16 (Reuters) - Capital One Financial Corp defeated a lawsuit on Wednesday brought by large patent owner Intellectual Ventures, after a U.S. judge invalidated two of IV's patents, according to the court opinion.

Intellectual Ventures filed separate patent lawsuits against several financial institutions last year, including Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp. However, the Capital One case had been further along procedurally.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in Virginia dismissed the lawsuit against Capital One after finding that the two IV patents remaining in the case were abstract ideas that could not be patented. One patent involved electronic financial databases, and the other customized web interfaces.

The two IV patents declared invalid had also been asserted by IV against Bank of America, court filings show. That litigation is still pending.

In a statement, IV chief litigation counsel Melissa Finocchio said the company would continue to pursue a second lawsuit against Capital One that IV filed in Maryland.

"We are disappointed with the court's decision and are considering our options," Finocchio said.

A representative for Capital One could not immediately be reached for comment.

Created in 2000, Intellectual Ventures has raised about $6 billion and acquired 70,000 patents and other intellectual property assets.

Over the years IV and other firms like it have faced criticism from some in the technology industry, who argue that firms like IV, which do not primarily make products, exploit the patent system by demanding royalties and threatening litigation.

IV argues that by buying patents from inventors, it creates a mechanism for them to capitalize on their ideas.

The company is seeking to raise a new $3 billion patent acquisition fund, a 2013 investor presentation reviewed by Reuters shows. Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp have agreed to participate in IV's new fund, while Apple Inc and Intel Corp declined.

The Capital One case in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia is Intellectual Ventures I LLC et al. vs. Capital One Financial Corporation et al., 13-740. (Reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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