Archive | Software Patents

Claims Directed to Conducting Transactions Via Interactive TV Held Patent-Ineligible

Patent claims directed to securing various aspects of digital content on a user’s television were held patent-ineligible in OpenTV, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., No. 5:15-cv-02008-EJD (N.D. Cal., Jan. 28, 2016). Ruling on Apple’s motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the court used the familiar Alice / Mayo two-step framework to invalidate claims […]

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PTAB Denies Petition for CBM Review of Patent Directed to ATM Banking Transactions: a Portent for Patent-Eligibility of Business Methods? (Maybe Not)

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has denied a petition for Covered Business Method (CBM) Review of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,792, whose claims recite methods of “providing money or an item of value to an account-holder” and “paying on behalf of a person for money or an item of value, from an account […]

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Federal Circuit Provides a Lesson on How Not to Rebut an Obviousness Rejection

Has the Federal Circuit made it more difficult to rebut obviousness rejections by demonstrating that the cited references teach away from the claimed invention? One way to show that references teach away from a claimed invention is to show that a combination of references alleged by the patent examiner would render the prior art inoperable […]

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Section 101 Analysis Under Alice Reaches Different Results in Different Texas Districts

Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas have recently reached decisions that demonstrate the different results that different courts can reach when analyzing patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Summary judgement of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. 101 was denied on claims of U.S. 6,772,210 […]

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Some Guidance on Means-Plus-Function Language

Two recent district court opinions provide some guidance for predicting whether claim language will invoke a means-plus-function construction. Invoking means-plus-function isn’t as straight forward as it used to be. It’s well known that claiming “means for” is all but certain to invoke a means-plus-function construction. Things get trickier when that phrase is omitted, however. And […]

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Federal Circuit Demonstrates an Alice No-Brainer

In a one-word per curiam order two days after oral argument, the Federal Circuit affirmed, on grounds of patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of a lawsuit alleging infringement of patent claims directed to game scoring and processing Internet transactions. Priceplay.com, Inc. v. AOL Advertising, Inc., Nos. 2015-1492, 2015-1589, 2015-1660 (Fed. Cir. […]

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Patent Claims Directed to Providing an Intermediary Server in a Computer Network Survive Alice Scrutiny

For an example of a patent claim that survived a district court’s application of the Alice/Mayo patent-eligibility test, see independent claim 24 of US Patent No. 6,928,479. 01 Communique Laboratory, Inc. v. Citrix Systems, Inc., No. 1:06-cv-253 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 21, 2015.)  In this case, the court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment of […]

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Federal Circuit Demonstrates There Are Easy Cases under the Alice/Mayo Patent-Eligibility Test

The Federal Circuit has held patent-ineligible claims drawn to “the abstract idea of testing operators of any kind of moving equipment for any kind of physical or mental impairment.” Vehicle Intelligence and Safety LLC v. Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, No. 2015-1411 (Fed. Cir., Dec. 28, 2015) (per curiam). If you read independent claims 8 and 16 […]

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Unreasonable Section 101 Arguments Support “Exceptional Case” Finding and Award of Attorney Fees Against Patent Plaintiff

Based on the plaintiff’s “unreasonable § 101 positions and vexatious litigation strategy,” Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas found an exceptional case under 35 U.S.C. § 285, and granted a defense motion for attorney fees in eDekka LLC v. 3Balls.com, Inc., No. 2:15-CV-541 (E.D. Tex. December 17, 2015). At risk of overstating the […]

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