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Alabama Court Dismisses Baron Services’ Infringement Case

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: A patent infringement case brought about byvideo weather specialist Baron Services has been dismissed by a federal court in Alabama. Baron filed suit last year against Media Weather Innovations of Parker, Colo., in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Northeastern Division.

Baron claimed MWI’s WeatherCall alert system infringed on its own forecasting technology.Baron offers real-time, locational, advanced warnings of severe weather via its SAF-T-Net alert service. The service identifies areas at risk from threatening weather conditions--schools, homes, businesses--and delivers the information to subscribers. The system had been developed over a decade, based on a patent filed by Baron in 2002: “System and Methods for Distributing Real-Time Site Specific Weather Information.” Baron claimed WeatherCall had been infringing on the patent and has inflicted damages “in excess of $75,000.” 

MWI offered WeatherCall in the form of cellphone alerts for three phone numbers and three e-mail addresses for $9.95 a year. KUSA-TV in Denver uses alert service, according to the Denver Business Journal.

Judge Inge Prytz Johnson found Baron’s claim to be insufficient.

“Because the plaintiff has been either unwilling or unable to set forth what its own patent terms mean, the court finds summary judgment is appropriate as there can be no evidence under these circumstances that defendant’s service infringes plaintiff’s patent,” she wrote in a ruling issued Feb. 1. The judge granted MWI’s motion for summary judgment.
Deborah D. McAdams