Judge Upholds Jury Verdict Clearing Abbyy and Lexmark of Infringement on Nuance OCR Patents

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scales of justice 2Law360 reports that on December 10th, a California federal judge refused to overturn a jury’s August 2013 verdict that ABBYY Software House and Lexmark International didn’t infringe on three of Nuance Communications’s patents for optical character recognition (OCR) software, ending Nuance’s $107 million lawsuit against Abbyy and Lexmark.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White rejected Nuance’s request for judgment as a matter of law or, alternatively, a new trial.

In August 2013, Nuance had urged the California jury to find that ABBYY and Lexmark infringed patents that had allowed Nuance to develop its OmniPage software, which the company argued represented “a quantum leap” in optical character recognition technology.

Three patents were in question in the case ( Nuance Communications v. ABBYY Software House, 08-0912), but the most important was said to be U.S. Patent No. 6,038,342, which covers a “trainable template” that is updated during the process of converting scanned images into searchable text.

Nuance had alleged that ABBYY “gravely harmed” its business by infringing on Nuance’s OCR technology, sold as the popular Nuance OmniPage software. Nuance, which filed the suit in February 2008, claimed that ABBYY’s FineReader OCR software is “little more than a copy” of OmniPage, and sought more than $100 million from ABBYY, as well as damages from Lexmark, which often bundles ABBYY’s  FineReader with its MFPs.

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