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Fed. Cir. Holds Software Display Claims Patent-Eligible

Here is a Federal Circuit decision that expands the arsenal of cases available to argue for patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice abstract idea test. In Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, Inc., Nos. 2016-2684, 2017-1922 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 25, 2018) (precedential), the court held that claims directed to software providing a particular arrangement of menu options for mobile devices are patent-eligible. The court’s decision affirmed the Eastern District of Texas’ denial of summary judgment of patent-ineligibility of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,713,476 and 8,434,020, each entitled “Computing Device with Improved User Interface for Applications.” Judge Moore wrote for a panel that also included Judges O’Malley and Wallach; the panel was unanimous on the question of patent-eligibility (Judge Wallach dissented with respect to a claim construction that affected the questions of anticipation and infringement). The District Court had considered claim 1 of the ’476 patent as representative…

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Broad Software Patent Claims Survive Alice, Federal Circuit

Broad patent claims directed to computer virus screening have survived an Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101  patent-eligibility challenge at the Federal Circuit. Finjan, Inc., v. Blue Coat Systems Inc., No. 2016-2520 (January 10, 2018) (precedential).  As reported here, the District Court had denied a post-trial motion seeking to set aside a finding of infringement on the grounds that claims of the ’844 patent were patent-ineligible. Addressing patent-eligibility along with other issues (not addressed in this post) related to several patents in suit, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that claims of U.S. Patent  No.  6,154,844, entitled “System and method for attaching a downloadable security profile to a downloadable,” are not directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea. Claim 1 of the ’844 patent recites: A method comprising: receiving by an inspector a Downloadable; generating by the inspector a first Downloadable security profile that identifies suspicious code in the received Downloadable;…

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Guidance from Patent Claims Surviving Alice

A Delaware magistrate judge has provided some insights for patent drafters who contemplate scrutiny under the Alice abstract idea test. In M2M Solutions, LLC v. Amzon.com., Inc., Civil Action No. 17-202-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Dec. 11, 2017), Magistrate Judge Burke provided a report and recommendation to deny, albeit without prejudice, the defendant’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion seeking dismissal, based on an allegation of patent-ineligibility under 35 USC § 101, of a complaint alleging infringement of United States Patent Nos. 8,504,007, 8,577,358, and 8,577,359. All three of the patents-in-suit are entitled “System and Method for Remote Asset Management,” and claim priority to a common PCT application. The court characterized the patents as directed to wireless machine-to-machine applications for managing and monitoring “consumer device assets.” The patent claims were of similar scope, and the court focused on the claims of the ’007 patent is exemplary. (The claims are not reproduced here due to their…

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Software License Verification Patent-Ineligible under Alice

Implementing a process in a highly technical environment will not necessarily save patent claims challenged under the Alice abstract idea test, as illustrated in Ancora Technologies, Inc. v. HTC America, Inc., No. C16-1919 RAJ (W.D. Wash. Dec. 14, 2017).  In this case, the court dismissed, under FRCP 12(b)(6), a complaint of infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,411,941, directed to a “method of restricting software operation within a license limitation,” even though the claimed method was implemented in the sophisticated technical environment of a computer BIOS system. Claim 1 of the ’941 patent recites: A method of restricting software operation within a license for use with a computer including an erasable, non-volatile memory area of a BIOS of the computer, and a volatile memory area; the method comprising the steps of: selecting a program residing in the volatile memory, using an agent to set up a verification structure in the erasable,…

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Preview-Based File Sharing Claims Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. §101

In TS Patents LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 17-cv-01721-lhk, (CAND Sept. 1, 2017) the Court applied the two-step Alice analysis and granted Yahoo’s motion to dismiss an infringement suit from TS Patents, finding claims from four asserted patents to be invalid under 35 U.S.C. §101. TS Patents alleged that Yahoo infringed US 9,280,547, (the ’547 patent), US 8,799,473, (the ‘473 patent), US 8,713,442, (the ‘442 patent), and US 8,396,891, (the ‘891 patent). The Court’s analyses of the four patents was similar. The analysis of claim 9 of the ‘442 patent is presented here as representative. Claim 9 recites: A server in a collaboration system supporting virtual presentation between a plurality of user, the server comprising: at least one hardware processor, and program code, which, when executed by the at least one hardware processor, causes the server to: display a first user interface comprising metadata of files and folders, residing in…

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