Roberson focused on Pat. No. 6,784,873 which covers a touch screen personal navigation device — a patent that he called “low hanging fruit” compared with other Article One subjects such as the multiple Rambus patents being litigated or a pharmacuetical formulation such as rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor).
The ‘843 case is important because the patentee (SPT) has accused Garmin of infringement. Roberson primarily used Google Scholar & Google Patents to search for prior art patents. He had never worked with patents before, but also found the WIPO, EPO, & JPO search engines useful.
In the end, the folks at Article One awarded two winners: Roberson’s submission (WO 91/12578 A1) and an anonymous contribution of a 1998 Microsoft CE programming guide. Roberson will receive $35,000 and the anonymous contributor will receive $15,000.
Article One indicated its belief that the two references would invalidate the ‘843 patent, however, they company is quick to note that “only a U.S. federal court or the U.S. Patent Office can invalidate a U.S. patent.”