FlexSim Invalidates Simio's Asserted Patent
FlexSim Software Products, January 13, 2021 — The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court of Utah in favor of FlexSim Software Products, Inc. and against Simio LLC, ending the patent infringement litigation initiated more than four years ago and sustaining FlexSim’s long-held belief that Simio’s asserted patent rights were invalid.
FlexSim specializes in 3D simulation modeling and analysis software. FlexSim’s simulation software enables customers to generate a specific 3D environment and simulate its operation. Simio is one of FlexSim’s competitors. In July 2016, Simio demanded that FlexSim “cease and desist” from selling its simulation software, claiming that it infringed Simio’s patent rights (U.S. Patent No. 8,156,468). FlexSim independently created its innovative simulation software and refused to cave into Simio’s demands. FlexSim claimed that Simio’s patent was invalid and not infringed by FlexSim.
After two earlier federal lawsuits in Utah and Pennsylvania were dismissed on procedural grounds, in October 2018, Simio filed a patent infringement lawsuit against FlexSim in the District of Utah. FlexSim immediately moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Simo’s alleged patent rights were invalid and merely abstract, attempting to patent decades-old concepts that lacked the novelty and technological advancement requirements under the United States patent laws. District of Utah Judge Dee Benson granted FlexSim’s motion to dismiss and entered judgment in favor of FlexSim and against Simio.
Simio appealed, arguing that its use of decades-old object-oriented programming techniques in its simulation software justified patent protection. After briefing and oral argument, on December 29, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of FlexSim, finding Simio’s alleged invention undeserving of patent protection. The Federal Circuit found that “[s]imply applying the already-widespread practice of using graphics instead of programing to the environment of object-oriented simulations is no more than an abstract idea” that was “lacking any inventive concept.”1
FlexSim’s President, Bill Nordgren, stated, “we are very pleased that Simio’s ill-advised patent infringement lawsuit has finally been resolved in FlexSim’s favor, as we knew would be the case from the get-go.” Chief Operating Officer Roger Hullinger seized FlexSim’s well known trademark to declare, “Problem Solved.®”