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CAFC Split Favors Patent-Eligibility of Network Monitoring Claims: Packet Intelligence LLC v. NetScout Systems, Inc.

A split Federal Circuit panel disagreed whether patent claims directed to network monitoring for whether received packets belong to a particular “conversational flow” are directed to an abstract idea. Judge Lourie was joined by Judge Hughes in affirming a district court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law rejecting a defense of patent-eligibility, under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test, of claims directed to determining whether received packets belong to a particular “conversational flow.” Packet Intelligence LLC v. NetScout Systems, Inc., No. 2019-2041 (July 14, 2020) (precedential) (appeal from the Eastern District of Texas; Judge Gilstrap). Judge Reyna, concurring in the court’s opinion on a host of other issues, dissented with respect to § 101 validity, saying that the patent claims were directed to an abstract idea, and that the case should have been remanded to the District Court for further analysis concerning a possible inventive concept under…

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Patent Claims to Authenticating Users in Transactions Lack Technical Improvement, Fail Patent-Eligibility: Universal Secure Registry LLC v. Apple Inc.

Claims directed to authenticating users for a transaction are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo patent-eligibility test, and therefore the court granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in Universal Secure Registry LLC v. Apple Inc., Civ. No. 17-585-CFC-SRF (D. Del. June 30, 2020). The court overruled a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation that the motion be denied, and came just a week after another decision by the same judge (Colm Connolly) in another case holding patent claims directed to authenticating users to transactions ineligible. At issue in this case were U.S. Patent Nos. 8,856,539; 9,100,826; 8,577,813; and 9,530,137. The court began by analyzing claim 22 of the ’539 patent, which recites as follows: A method for providing information to a provider to enable transactions between the provider and entities who have secure data stored in a secure registry in which each entity is identified by a time-varying…

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Federal Circuit Holds Telecommunications System Access Control Patent-Ineligible: Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Comm. Tech. Holdings, Ltd.

Patent claims directed to “limiting and controlling access to resources in a telecommunications system” failed the 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo patent-eligibility test, held a split Federal Circuit panel, reversing the Eastern District of Texas’s denial of summary judgment. Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Comm. Tech. Holdings, Ltd. (Fed. Cir. April 14, 2020) (opinion by Chief Judge Prost joined by Judge Chen; dissent by Judge Newman) (precedential). TCL had appealed after a jury found infringement of claims 1 and 5 of U.S. Patent No. 7,149,510, owned by Ericsson, including willful infringement, and awarded damages. Because the court held claims of the ’510 patent ineligible under § 101, this opinion did not reach the willful infringement and damages issues. However, before turning to the merits of § 101 eligibility, the court considered and rejected, for two independent reasons, Ericsson’s argument that “TCL has waived any right to appeal the issue of…

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