Gratuity Solutions LLC et al. v. Toast, Inc. (D. Mass. 22-cv-11539).

  • April 29, 2024

Gratuity sued Toast in 2022, asserting infringement of a pair of patents related to tip management and a breach of two non-disclosure agreements related to a negotiation by Toast to potentially purchase Gratuity.  Earlier in the case, Judge Saris deemed one of the two patents invalid as directed to unpatentable subject matter, but upheld the second patent.

In January, the case was reassigned to Judge Kobick, who was commissioned in November 2023.  Judge Kobick has now granted Toast’s motion to stay pending IPR (which has been instituted by the PTAB).  She found that the status of the litigation, with Markman, further discovery and summary judgment still remaining, the PTAB’s decision on IPR would likely simplify issues in the case.  She noted that Gratuity would likely be somewhat prejudiced by this decision – Gratuity has lost about 76 customers to Toast in the last two years, including four in the past week, but found that this potential prejudice only weighed slightly against a stay, particularly where Gratuity had not identified their total number of customers to put that 76 number in context.  She noted that monetary damages should be adequate to cover any such losses.  She further noted that Gratuity had not moved for a preliminary injunction, suggesting that they would not be irreparably harmed by the stay.

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