NRF Sends Tiare Technology Cease and Desist for Abusive Patent Litigation

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today sent a legal analysis and warning to Tiare Technology Inc. regarding its abusive patent litigation. Tiare has filed more than three dozen lawsuits against retailers and restaurants seeking nuisance settlements, including six additional lawsuits just in September, asserting patents that are plainly invalid under the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit’s patent-eligibility decisions.

“There is no colorable argument that these patents are valid. Tiare has no interest in litigating them — it simply seeks nuisance settlements,” NRF Vice President of Legal Affairs Mike Lemon said. “The courts need to award attorney’s fees against these nuisance-settlement plaintiffs, in order to deter this behavior and business model.”

By placing Tiare on notice of the clear invalidity of its patents, NRF places Tiare at an enhanced risk of an award of attorney’s fees against it if Tiare continues to assert these invalid patents in court. 

NRF’s letter states that “fees have been awarded on the basis of the assertion of patents that are very similar to the Tiare patents — patents that claim the computerization of food menus and ordering that are routine and conventional.”

“The remaining features of the Tiare patents’ claimed method relate to economic practices, such advertising schemes, menu displays, or various sales techniques. Such subject matter, even if innovative, is not eligible for patent protection. The Federal Circuit has repeatedly held that advertising strategies, sales promotions and incentives, and even food-ordering menus are not eligible subject matter.” 

“We recommend that Tiare dismiss its pending lawsuits and cease assertion of the Tiare patents,” Lemon said.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.