A recent lawsuit filed against Financial Engines for patent infringement could mean legal woes for other types of robo-advisors.

On Aug. 8, GRQ Investment Management LLC sued Financial Engines Inc. and Financial Engines Advisors LLC, claiming patent infringement relating to certain computer-based advice strategies it used in 401(k)s and other participant-directed retirement plans.

In the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, GRQ Investment Management asserts that it owns patents — numbered 600 and 825 — that have been and are being infringed upon by Financial Engines.

“It is possible that the owners of the patents in question might take the position that there are other providers who are infringing on the patents in question, as well,” Dechert lawyers Andrew Oringer and Susan Camillo wrote in a recent blog.

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