Prior Art Found Pertinent to Patent-Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

Quoting Bob Dylan in “You’re a Big Girl Now,” from the landmark album Blood on the Tracks, Judge Wu in the Central District of California has summed up the present state of patent-eligibility jurisprudence under 35 U.S.C. § 101: “A change in the weather has known to be extreme.” McRo, Inc. v. Codemasters Inc., No. […]

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Yet Another Business Method Patent Fails Section 101 “Abstract Idea” Test

Yet another court has held yet more business method patents invalid for failing to recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In Open Text S.A. v. Alfresco Software Ltd., No. No. 13-cv-04843-JD (Sept 19, 2014), the court granted the defendant’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, holding that claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,647,372 […]

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PTAB Invalidates Business Method Claims in CBM Review

Inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review proceedings conducted by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office are emerging as a potent tool for invalidating patents. Under the Covered Business Method (CBM) PG-Review available to accused infringers, the PTAB can invalidate patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § […]

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Covered Business Method Patent Found Likely Patent-Eligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office has arguably held that business method patent claims may be patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In PNC Bank v. Secure Axcess, LLC, Case CBM2014-00100 (PTAB Sept. 9, 2014), the PTAB held that U.S. Patent No. 7,631,191 was eligible for […]

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Already Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Has Brought a Sea-Change in Patent-(In)eligibility

In the four years leading up to Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l., 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in Bilski v. Kappos and Mayo v. Prometheus.  Both decisions clearly cut back on the anything-goes approach to determining patent-eligible subject matter […]

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PTAB Reverses Obviousness Rejection because Nothing “Ties” Approaches of Prior Art References Together

In Ex parte Gilbert (Appeal 2012/005795; App. No. 11/200,749), the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) held that the Examiner had not established that one of ordinary skill in the art would have had an apparent reason to combine the references because there is nothing that would “tie” the approaches of the references together. The […]

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Another Post-Alice Nail in the Coffin of Business Method Patents

In a case where the patent-owner had no chance following Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l., 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the Federal Circuit has affirmed a district court’s pre-Alice holding that patent claims directed to “providing a guaranty service for online transactions” are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Buysafe, Inc. […]

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Use of Copyrighted Software’s Output and Mere Downloading of Copy Held Not to Constitute Infringement

Neither using output from copyrighted software, nor downloading (but not installing or using) the copyrighted software, constituted actionable copyright infringement under the US copyright statute.  Design Data Corporation v.  Unigate Enterprise, Inc., No. 12-cv-04131-WHO (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2014).  Accordingly, the court in this case granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the […]

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Trade Secret Protection Requires Steps to Protect Trade Secrets

A defendant who misappropriated a plaintiff’s designs could not be liable for trade secret misappropriation no matter how nefarious the defendant’s conduct, where the plaintiff had not taken reasonable steps to protect prototypes embodying the designs. Accordingly, in Direct Technologies, LLC v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. SACV 10-1336 AG (PJWx) (C.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2014), […]

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