Author Archive | Charles Bieneman

Software’s Capability to Infringe Is Not Patent Infringement

A claim for direct patent infringement could not be sustained where Microsoft software, even under the plaintiff’s theory of infringement, would have required additional user configuration before all claim elements were met.  Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 1-13-cv-02073 (D. Del. April 10, 2017). The court initially granted summary judgment because the plaintiff […]

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CAFC: Handling Search Queries Is Not Patent-Eligible

A Federal Circuit Panel needed little analysis to determine that retrieving and displaying information is not patent-eligible subject matter, and affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a suit alleging infringement of claims of three patents.  West View Research, LLC v. Audi AG, Nos. 2016-1947, 2016-1948, 2016-1949, 2016-1951 (Fed. Cir. April 19, 2017) (non-precedential).  The patents, […]

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PTAB: Social Media Privacy Management Is Patent-Eligible

Claims to managing privacy in a social network survive the Mayo/Alice patent-eligibility test, says the PTAB, reversing an Examiner’s rejection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Ex parte Drake Sutton-Shearer, Appeal 2015-003977, Application 12/770,4711, Technology Center 3600 (PTAB Feb. 28, 2017).  Citing Federal Circuit decisions in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp. and Affinity Labs of Tex., […]

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No CBM Patent Review for Delivering Files to a Cell Phone

A patent directed to wirelessly “delivering an audio and/or visual media file” was not a covered business method patent, leading the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to deny a petition to institute a covered business method review.  FaceBook, Inc. v. Skky LLC, Case CBM2017-00006, US Patent No. 9,215,310 (PTAB April 11, 2017).  Interestingly, […]

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Statutory Disclaimer Moots Covered Business Method Review

When a patent owner disclaims patent claims for which another party petitions for Covered Business Method Review, the petition is moot.  The rule is pretty clear on this point: “[t]he patent owner may file a statutory disclaimer under 35 U.S.C. 253(a),” and “[n]o post-grant review will be instituted based on disclaimed claims.” 37 C.F.R. § […]

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PTAB Panel Can’t Agree on Patent-Eligibility

Lest anyone think that patent-eligibility determinations at the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) are easy, even in appeals in ex parte patent prosecution, consider the recent case of Ex parte Plondke, Appeal 2016-006905, Application 13/241,673 (PTAB April 3, 2017).  The claims at issue were directed to data processing software patents, specifically to an […]

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E.D. Texas: Digital Product Licensing Not Patent-Eligible

Patent claims directed to “adjusting the number of devices allowed to use a digital product (e.g., software) under a license” are not patent-eligible, says Judge Robert W. Schroeder of the Eastern District of Texas.  Uniloc, USA, Inc. v.  Amazon.com, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:16-CV-00570-RWS (Lead) (E.D. Texas, March 20, 2017).  Thus, Judge Schroeder granted a […]

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Alice Changed Law, No Issue Preclusion on Patent-Eligibility

Where a patent had survived a challenge under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in prior litigation between the parties, issue preclusion did not prevent a court from revisiting the question, and invalidating the patent claims, because, the court said, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), represented a change in the law.  […]

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Online Listing = Offer for Sale for Patent Infringement?

Robert Blazer sued eBay alleging that a product listed by an eBay seller was liable for patent infringement (directly, contributorily, and by inducement).  eBay successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that it had not offered the accused product for sale, as required to maintain an action for patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a).  […]

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Patent-Eligibility Is Foggier after Enfish: an Illustration

Patent claims to “[a] method for defining a personalized printed product using a data template that consists of at least one graphical component” are not directed to an abstract idea, and thus should survive a motion to dismiss based on an allegation of patent-ineligible subject matter, says an Eastern District of Texas magistrate judge.  Opal […]

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