Related Professionals: William R. Overend James C. Martin Justin J. Kontul Kirsten R. Rydstrom Christine M. Morgan Gerard M. Donovan

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2016 - Reed Smith LLP secured a complete victory for client Safeway, Inc. in a case involving a patent for computerized incentive programs asserted against Safeway’s personalized coupon program. The Federal Circuit entered judgment without opinion yesterday, affirming the May 2015 judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that plaintiff Kroy IP Holdings’ patent was invalid on multiple grounds. Reed Smith appellate partner James C. Martin argued the appeal on April 5, 2016, before a panel consisting of Judges Newman, Schall and Chen.

The appeal related to two separate summary judgment rulings by Judge Bryson, himself a Federal Circuit judge, who was sitting by designation in the Eastern District of Texas. In the first, Judge Bryson issued a 51-page opinion finding that Kroy’s patent was directed to an abstract idea and, thus, was not eligible for patent protection. In the second, he found that the patent was invalid as anticipated and obvious in light of prior art cited by Safeway.

“The Federal Circuit justifiably affirmed per curiam just weeks after the appeal was argued, as it had the benefit of two highly comprehensive summary judgment rulings by Judge Bryson that found the patent invalid on four separate grounds,” said San Francisco Reed Smith partner William Overend, who led Safeway’s defense in the matter. “Safeway developed the accused Just For U Program for its customers and is pleased the program has now been vindicated both at the trial court and appellate levels.”

The cross-office Reed Smith team led by Overend included Pittsburgh partners Martin, Justin Kontul and Cindy Kernick; Philadelphia partner Kirsten Rydstrom; San Francisco counsel Christine Morgan; Philadelphia associate Sonia Shariff; and Washington, D.C., associate Gerard Donovan.

Read the Federal Circuit’s order here.

About Reed Smith’s Patent Litigation Team

Reed Smith’s patent litigation team includes experienced trial lawyers and other attorneys who have held various science, engineering, executive and legal positions at major corporations, emerging growth companies, and start-up entities. A number of Reed Smith’s patent lawyers are authorities in their field, having been former federal law clerks or examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and holding dispute-resolution credentials from the World Intellectual Property Organization and other tribunals. The firm’s patent lawyers have significant litigation skills, and many also have backgrounds in chemical, electrical, mechanical, metallurgical, and nuclear engineering; biochemistry; molecular biology; organic chemistry; materials science; optics; nanotechnology; bioinformatics; systems and software engineering; and other specialized technologies, which enable us to effectively handle even the most complex technological matters.

About Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers in 26 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute-resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, entertainment and media, shipping and transport, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, technology, and education. For more information, visit

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