Tag Archives | 35 USC 101

Functional Claiming Can Spell Patent-Eligibility Doom

Granting a Rule 12 motion to dismiss, a court held patent-ineligible, under the Alice abstract idea test and 35 U.S.C. § 101, a patent claim that recited “determining automatically an optimal exposure level.”  SungKyunKwan University v. LMI Technologies USA Inc., Case No. 16-cv-06966-VC (N.D. Cal. May 3, 2017).  Claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 7,957,639 […]

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The Latest USPTO Patent-Eligibility Guidance (April 2017)

As you probably know, the USPTO maintains a “subject matter [patent-]eligibility” web page with a plethora of information.  Most recently, on April 26, 2017, the Office posted a “quick reference sheet” illustrating decisions bearing on patent-eligibility analysis under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Mayo/Alice test.  Other documents, if you haven’t already taken a look, […]

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E.D. Texas Splits Patent-Eligibility of E-Mail Patents

Considering two patents directed to e-mail applications, Judge Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas deferred a patent-eligibility determination of one of the patents as premature prior to claim construction, but held that claim construction was not required for claims of the second patent to be deemed patent-ineligible under the Mayo/Alice patent-eligibility test. Umbanet, Inc. […]

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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 Cir. April 19, 2017) (non-precedential).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 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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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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Federal Circuit Invalidates Business Method Patent (Yawn)

The Federal Circuit has upheld the invalidity of a patent whose claims recite “[a] computer-implemented method for providing certified financial data indicating financial risk about an individual.”  Clarilogic, Inc. v. FormFree Holdings Corp., No. 2016-1781 (March 5, 2017) (opinion by Judge Reyna, joined by Judges Lourie and Chen) (non-precedential).  The court affirmed the lower court’s […]

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Mental Steps Override Novelty in Patent-Eligibility Analysis

The Federal Circuit has upheld the patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,614,710, directed to “a method for deriving a pixel color in a graphic image.” Coffelt v. NVIDIA Corp., No. 2017-1119 (Fed. Cir. March 15, 2017) (per curiam and non-precedential; panel was Chief Judge Prost and Judges […]

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