NEWS27 September 2011

Court denies TRA an injunction against Kantar’s RapidView

Legal North America

US— TRA has been denied a preliminary injunction to block Kantar from making and selling its media planning tool, RapidView for Retail, which TRA accuses of infringing on its patents.

Both the RapidView product and TRA’s own Media TRAnalytics tool combine TV viewing information with purchase data with a view to better targeting ad spend.

TRA accuses Kantar – whose parent company WPP is an investor in TRA – of stealing trade secrets and infringing its patent for a process for “analysing return on investment of advertising campaigns by matching multiple data sources”, allegations denied by Kantar.

The two sides are set to begin mediation soon on the bulk of the claims, but in the meantime TRA sought an injunction to prevent RapidView from being sold by Kantar.

New York District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin rejected TRA’s motion last week, finding that Kantar and its WPP sister company Cavendish “have raised a substantial question about the validity” of the claim on which TRA bases its injunction request.

The claim in question, claim 71 of patent number 7,729,940, covers five steps: from the collection of data, to the matching of information household by household, to storing it, cleaning and editing it and generating a planning report based on the matched data.

But in reviewing Kantar and Cavendish’s submissions, Judge Scheindlin found that “substantially all of the limitations in Claim 71” were “taught” by “prior art” – patent-speak for information already in the public domain.

“I further find that it would have been obvious to a person reasonably skilled in the art to attempt to combine these teachings, even though no single device embodied them all,” she wrote in a 22-page opinion.