Your mom asked you, when you told her you'd lost something, "where'd you see it last?" Right? And it worked? Maybe not right away but soon. Yes?

The folks at Absolute Software and Stealth Signal tried to save you from your mom's loving disdain by coming up with ways to track laptops that someone had either misplaced (you) or stolen (the person who "found" the laptop you'd "misplaced" in the airport Admirals Club while you went to refill your ramekin of wasabi beans).

After Absolute sued Stealth for patent infringement and Stealth returned the favor, an Epic Battle ensued in Houston's U.S. District Court. The judge (Ewing Werlein) cast a pox on both parties' houses by way of a summary judgment order, in which he ruled neither house infringed the other's patents.

The Federal Circuit for the most part affirmed the order. But the panel begged to differ on whether Absolute raised a fact question on infringement. It held that the record could support a jury finding that Stealth's XTool Tracker (a software "agent" program) gave both the Internet protocol (IP) address of the "host" tracking system and the IP address of the laptop that emits (thanks to the Stealth "agent") an SOS signal. Absolute Software, Inc. v. Stealth Signal, Inc., No. 2010-1503 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 11, 2011).

Blawgletter guesses that you'd need the IP address of each to locate the laptop you should have tucked under your arm before going for the snack you really didn't need before boarding your flight to a place at which you'll spend most of your time asking questions of a person you have never met and won't likely see ever again and whose smug answers anger only you and the court reporter who wants you to hire the firm for which the CR works to record more depositions.

We guess we'll see on remand. Won't we.