Federal Circuit Demonstrates an Alice No-Brainer

In a one-word per curiam order two days after oral argument, the Federal Circuit affirmed, on grounds of patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of a lawsuit alleging infringement of patent claims directed to game scoring and processing Internet transactions. Priceplay.com, Inc. v. AOL Advertising, Inc., Nos. 2015-1492, 2015-1589, 2015-1660 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 7, 2016) (per curiam; Judges Moore, Bryson, and Wallach).

As this blog previously reported, the district court (opinion here) had no trouble finding that the patent claims simply recited old steps of processing a transaction in the context of the Internet, and thus were patent-ineligible.  Patent owners may not like it, but this case represents the post Alice/Mayo reality that some patent claims, especially business method claims, fail on their face to meet the patent-eligibility bar, with very little analysis required.  For an example of claims whose patent-ineligibility is so clear that the Federal Circuit saw no need to comment, see U.S. Patent Nos. 8,050,982 and 8,494,917.