Patent claims covering labeling websites were “directed to the abstract idea of gathering and labeling information to facilitate efficient retrieval of the labeled information,” without any saving inventive concept, and as such were patent-ineligible. Gonzalez v. Infostream Grp., Inc., Nos. 2:14-cv-906-JRG; 2:14-cv-907-JRG (E.D. Texas April 25, 2016). Accordingly, Judge Gilstrap granted summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 101 concerning U.S. Patent Nos. 7,873,665 and 7,558,807.
The court easily dispensed with the first prong of the two-part Mayo/Alice test, finding that the claims were directed to the above-stated abstract idea. The court particularly noted that “the claimed idea represents routine tasks that could be performed by a human.”
Concerning the second prong of the Alice/May test, the court found that the claims simply used generic computer technology to implement the abstract idea. The patent owner did not help itself when, during prosecution of its patent applications, it told the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “that ‘this kind of labeling is common in commerce in physical form,' but ‘it has not heretofore been used or proposed in digital form for websites.’” Oops. In other words, the plaintiff basically told the USPTO that “[t]he claims themselves offer nothing more than taking the well-known concept of labeling and applying it to the internet.”