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Judge EngelmayerJudge Engelmayer ()

For three years, the patent holder DietGoal Innovations has sued dozens of food and media companies all over the country, alleging that everyone from NBCUniversal’s Bravo Media unit to Dunkin’ Donuts had infringed its patent for a system of computerized meal planning.

Several defendants opted to settle, including Scripps Networks Interactive and chicken chain El Pollo Loco Inc. They may regret doing so. On Tuesday, Southern District Judge Paul Engelmayer (See Profile) in Manhattan ruled in DietGoal Innovations v. Bravo Media, 13-cv-8391, that DietGoal’s patent is invalid, concluding that it covers an impermissibly abstract idea under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

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