December 2014

“Transaction Security Apparatus” Held Not Patent-Eligible

Patent claims directed to securing banking transactions carried out over the Internet were held patent-ineligible in Joao Bock Transaction Sys. v. Jack Henry & Assocs., Civ. No. 12-1138-SLR (D. Del. Dec. 15, 2014).  Finding that the claims were directed to an “abstract idea” with no additional innovation, the court granted the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 7,096,003 under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Claim 1 of the ’003 patent recited a “transaction security apparatus” that included a “memory device” and a “processing device.” The memory device “stores a limitation or restriction regarding a banking transaction, wherein the limitation or restriction prohibits” bank account withdrawals or use, and is received in the memory device “on or over at least one of the Internet and the World Wide Web.” The processing device processes the “banking transaction,” and “generates a signal for allowing or disallowing the banking transaction.” The court employed the now familiar two-part test of Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l., first whether the patent claims were directed to an “abstract idea,” and, second, whether the claims recited “significantly more” than the abstract idea to render the claims patent-eligible. Here, although never specifically stating… Read More »“Transaction Security Apparatus” Held Not Patent-Eligible

Internet Business Method Claims Are and Are Not Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit

A Federal Circuit panel has found that patent claims directed to managing the look and feel of e-commerce web pages are patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P., No. 2013-1505 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 5, 2014). The majority opinion was authored by Judge Chen, and joined by Judge Wallach. Judge Mayer filed a strong dissent. The DDR Holdings decision comes just weeks after a different Federal Circuit panel (Judges Lourie, Mayer, and O’Malley) took the Supreme Court’s strong hint and invalidated internet advertising patent claims at issue in the long running case of Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC, No. 2010-1544 (Nov. 14, 2014) (“Ultramercial III”). The common thread in these seemingly irreconcilable cases seems to be Judge Mayer, who thought patent claims in both cases were not patent-eligible. Ultramercial III The Federal Circuit had twice previously held that claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,346,545 were patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the second such holding coming after the Supreme Court’s remand in the wake of Mayo v. Prometheus. Following its decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., the Supreme Court vacated the Federal Circuit’s second Ultramercial decision, and again remanded. The third time around, the Federal… Read More »Internet Business Method Claims Are and Are Not Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit