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Claims Directed to a Data Structure Are Not Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit

In its first patent-eligibility case since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the Federal Circuit has held that claims directed to a data structure are not patent-eligible, affirming the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity.  Digitech Image Techs., LLC v. Elecs. for Imaging, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 11, 2014).  […]

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New Patent Prosecution Standard? USPTO Provides Preliminary Post-Alice Corp. Guidelines for Evaluating Patent-Eligibility

In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “preliminary instructions effective today to the Patent Examining Corps relating to subject matter eligibility of claims involving abstract ideas, particularly computer-implemented abstract ideas, under 35 U.S.c. § 101.”  At the same time, the USPTO is clearly struggling […]

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Patent Practice Lessons from Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank

No one expected the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that claims directed to “financial matters and risk management” were patent-eligible in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., No. 13-298 (June 19, 2014).  Indeed, the Court did not so hold.  Now that we have the Court’s decision, if you scroll down you will see that I […]

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No Need to Ask Alice: Districts Continue to Invalidate Patent Claims Based on Ineligible Subject Matter

The patent community is awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International. This decision may or may not clarify standards for determining patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Meanwhile, district courts continue to consider, and generally agree with, defendants’ arguments that software patents do not recite patentable subject […]

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A Rare Case? Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Granted Based on Unpatentable Subject Matter

Patent claims directed to “the offer and sale of items to players in the course of gaming” recited an “unpatentable abstract idea,” held the court in Gametek LLC v. Zynga, Inc., No. CV 13-2546 RS (N.D. Cal. April 25, 2014).  This holding came in response to defendants’ motions under FRCP 12 for judgment on the […]

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Claims Directed to Encoding Digital Data Held to Be Patent-Eligible

A summary judgment motion alleging that claims of U.S. Patent No. 5,446,747 do not recite patent-eligible subject matter has been denied in France Telecom S.A. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., No. 12-cv-04967-WHO (ND Cal. April 14, 2014).  The claims at issue were directed to coding and decoding digital data. In resolving § 101 issues following the […]

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Financial Business Method Claims Held Not Patent-Eligible (and Invalid for Indefiniteness)

The clear trend of district courts invalidating business method patent claims has continued in Intellectual Ventures I, LLC v. Capital One Financial Corp., No. 1:13-cv-00740 (E.D. Va. April 16, 2014).  Further, the court provided some lessons for claim drafters in holding claims of one patent invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C § 112. Intellectual Ventures […]

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Is Section 101 Patent Eligibility Determined By Claim Breadth?

A Federal Circuit panel has held invalid, for not reciting patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, patent claims directed to separating telephone transaction data into component parts, and storing it at different destinations.  CyberFone Sys., LLC v. CNN Interactive Group, Inc., Nos. 2012-1673, 2012-1674 (Fed. Cir., Feb. 26, 2014).  An opinion authored by […]

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Patent-Eligibility Ruling on Data Encryption Claims

In an opinion authored by Federal Circuit Senior Judge Bryson, an Eastern District of Texas court has denied a motion for summary judgment that patent claims directed to a method for transmitting encrypted data are ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  TQP Development, LLC. v. Intuit, Inc., N0. 2:12-CV-180-WCB (E.D. Texas Feb. […]

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Federal Circuit Holds Medical Diagnostic Method Not Patent-Eligible

Patent claims directed to “guiding the selection of a treatment regimen for a patient with a known disease or medical condition” were held not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 by a unanimous Federal Circuit panel.  SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Laboratories, S.A., No. 2013-1186 (Jan. 24, 2014). All claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,081,786 […]

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