Federal Circuit Affirms Patent-ineligibility of Online Retailing Pricing Claims

In OIP Techs., Inc. v. Amazon.com, No. 12-CV-1233 (Fed. Cir. June 11, 2015), the Federal Circuit agreed with a lower court that U.S. Patent No. 7,970,713 failed to claim patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, but rather “merely [used] a general-purpose computer to implement the abstract idea of ‘price optimization’.” The ‘713 patent […]

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Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, and Lessons for Patent Drafting

Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, No. 11-CV-2409 (Fed. Cir. June 16, 2015), raises the specter that software patent claims, already oft-challenged in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, could face the additional challenge of being unexpectedly construed as “means-plus-function” claims under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). (Or, prior to the America Invents Act, “Section 112, […]

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PTAB Finds Patent Claims Directed to Organizing Digital Images Patent-Ineligible in CBM Review

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) has held all claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,260,587 patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, and the rubric of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank.  Bank of America, NA v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC, Case CBM2014-00033 (PTAB May 18, 2015). The claims of the ’587 patent are directed to […]

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PTAB Invalidates Financial Administration Patent Claims in CBM Review

Patent claims directed to “administration of financial accounts” are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, held the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) during a Covered Business Method (“CBM”) post-grant review. The final written decision from the PTAB found all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,083,137 unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Intellectual Ventures […]

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Functionally-Described Structural Recitations in Method Patent Claims Can Be Indefinite

A patent claim’s recitation of a structural feature was held indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 because the court found that that the claim term in question – “processing system” – was indefinite functional language. Thus, the court in Cox Communications v. Sprint Communications, No. 12-487-SLR (D. Del. May 15, 2015) granted partial summary judgment […]

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Patent Claims Directed to Filtering Internet Content Not Patent-Eligible

Patent claims directed to “filtering Internet content” were held invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in Bascom Global Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 3:14-cv-3942-M (N.D. Tex May 15, 2015). The court held that, under Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l., 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the claims were directed to […]

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Means-Plus-Function Claims Are Dangerous in Software Patents

The latest example of the danger of drafting software patent claims to include means-plus-function limitations comes from Eon Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 2014-1392 (Fed. Cir. May 6, 2015).  U.S. Patent No. 5,663,757 included eight “means” limitations that the district court had held indefinite under 35 U.S.C. 112.  These limitations required […]

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Reasonable Non-Infringement Positions Relying on Court’s Claim Construction Negates Willful Patent Infringement Argument

Because Fairchild Semiconductor (a counterclaim defendant) had advanced credible non-infringement positions, the court denied a summary judgment motion seeking a finding of willful infringement in Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. v. Power Integrations, Inc., No. 12-540-LPS (D. Del. April 23, 2015). The court here followed the two part test established in In re Seagate Technology, LLC, to […]

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Software Patent Claims Are Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101 Without Magic (Statutory) Words

A savvy drafter of software patent claims will, to use one of the worst legal cliches, exalt form over substance.  Software in general unquestionably can be patent-eligible even after Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.  Undoubtedly, no magic words can promise that a software patent claim will be found patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  […]

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