District Court Considers Challenges of Section 101 Eligibility on the Pleadings, Highlights Need for Factual Record: Slyce Acquisition, Inc. v. Syte-Visual Conception, Ltd.
Should eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 ever be decided on the pleadings? The Western District of Texas says that such decisions should be rare because of the deep factual requirements for a proper § 101 analysis. Slyce Acquisition, Inc. v. Syte-Visual Conception, Ltd., W-19-cv-00257-ADA (W.D. Tex. Jan. 10, 2020). Plaintiff Slyce sued Defendants for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 9,152,624. The ‘624 patent is directed to uploading images and searching for recognized objects in the images without text labels. Defendant initially filed a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), alleging that claim 1 of the ‘624 patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The motion was denied, briefly noting that, in light of MyMail, Ltd. v. ooVoo, LLC, the Court would wait until claim construction to consider eligibility on § 101. No. 2018-1758 (Fed. Cir. 2019). Surprisingly, the Court “takes no position on whether there are any factual disputes that preclude dismissal at the pleadings stage.” At the very least, this is unusual because courts typically find a factual dispute in the pleadings as justification to deny motions to dismiss, but the Court did not explore the specific claim language at all. Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing… Read More »District Court Considers Challenges of Section 101 Eligibility on the Pleadings, Highlights Need for Factual Record: Slyce Acquisition, Inc. v. Syte-Visual Conception, Ltd.