patent claims

Patent Claims to Virtual Smartphone for Automobile Fail Alice Test: KCG Technologies, LLC v. CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc.

Claims directed to a virtual smartphone that could be displayed on a vehicle touchscreen are patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the two-part Mayo/Alice patent-eligibility test, held the court in KCG Technologies, LLC v. CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc. The court thus granted the defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 9,671,955 recites: A virtual smart phone, comprising: a screen mounted in an automobile; a processor, a non-transitory memory, and a power port mounted in the automobile; a software application executing on the processor to control image display on the screen and emulate features of a handheld device; a visual representation of a plurality of features of the handheld device on the screen; and an interactive element, wherein the interactive element allows access to the plurality of features of the handheld device, wherein the plurality of features of the handheld device comprises volume control, messages, phone call, email, internet browser, music player, calendar, Global Positioning System, contacts, and maps. Claim 3, the other independent claim of the ’955 patent, is a method claim of similar scope. The court did not find these claims challenging to analyze; the first sentence of the court’s discussion summarized its finding under… Read More »Patent Claims to Virtual Smartphone for Automobile Fail Alice Test: KCG Technologies, LLC v. CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc.

CAFC Affirms Rejections of Computer Product-by-Process Claim

The Federal’s circuit has affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision in turn affirming a patent examiner’s rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for lack of patent-eligibility, and under 35 U.S.C. § 112 for lack of written description and indefiniteness, of a product-by-process claim directed to “a resource planning forecast product.” In re Downing, No. 2018-1795 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 7, 2018) (non-presidential). The only independent claim at issue reads as follows (emphases provided by the court): 1. A resource planning forecast product operable in a computer and recorded on a non-transitory computer-readable medium for retrieval interlinking non-business or business information relevant to the end user without mandatory reliance on a network or another computer file or Internet access to operate wherein the product is produced by the processes of: (a) designing a diffusion-based proprietary forecasting technique on an Excel computer platform for operation within a resource planning framework to: (1) simplify forecasting initialization with defaults option and exclusion of advanced statistical requirements in forecasting, (2) consider social and technological change, (3) make forecasts of operations and development and strategic plans of 1-5-15 years simultaneously, and (4) provide automatic updates reducing manual operations and storage requirements such that this process taken in combination improves… Read More »CAFC Affirms Rejections of Computer Product-by-Process Claim

Establishing Online Chats Not Patent-Eligible Under Alice

Patent claims directed to establishing online chat sessions are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. §101 and the Alice/Mayo test, said Federal Circuit Judge Bryson, sitting in the District of Delaware, in granting a defendant’s motion to dismiss. Epic IP LLC v. Backblaze, Inc., C.A. No. 1:18-141-WCB (D. Del. Nov. 21, 2018). Here are the representative independent claims of U.S. Patent No, 6,434,599: 1. An on-line chatting method comprising: facilitating visit by a first on-line user to an information page of an information site; facilitating dynamic formation of a chat session unaffiliated with any pre-established chat room for said first on-line user and a second on-line user to chat with each other; and facilitating said chat session through which said first and second on-line users chat with each other. * * * 19. An information server comprising: a plurality of information pages to be selectively provided to a client computer responsive to the client computer’s request; and a first script/applet to be included with a responsive information page to enable the client computer to initiate dynamic formation of a chat session unaffiliated with any pre-established chat room for a user of the client computer to chat with a second user of interest, also… Read More »Establishing Online Chats Not Patent-Eligible Under Alice

McRO Saves Video Game User Location Patent Claims

Patent claims directed to mapping “a physical location determined by the user . . . to a video game environment” have survived a Rule 12(b)(6) motion alleging patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice patent-eligibility test.  Blackbird Tech LLC v. Niantic, Inc., No. 1-17-cv-01810 (D. Del. Oct. 31, 2018).  U.S. Patent No. 9,802,127 allows a user to “experience[] objects from the users [sic] entered location while playing the video game.”  Representative claim 1 recites: 1. A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving a first position indicator representing a first current physical location for a user of a video game, wherein said first position indicator is determined at least in part by taking a global navigation satellite system reading of said first current physical location; obtaining image data relating to said first current physical location, said image data comprising two or more camera images of said first current physical location; mapping said image data into a virtual environment of said video game by displaying said image data as a video, wherein said user experiences within said virtual environment real life objects from said first current physical location, and said user simultaneously encounters within said virtual environment virtual objects that are not physically present in… Read More »McRO Saves Video Game User Location Patent Claims

E.D. Texas Mag.: Device Power Reporting Patent-Ineligible

Patent claims directed to “a power headroom report” recited the “patent-ineligible concept of calculating and reporting the missing power of a network device,” according to the Eastern District of Texas’ Magistrate Judge Payne.  Accordingly, Judge Payne recommended that a defendant’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 8,570,957 under 35 U.S.C. § 101 be granted.    Cellular Communications Equipment LLC v. AT&T Inc., No. 2-15-cv-00576 (E.D. Texas June 27, 2017). Power control headroom in a communications network, the court explained, “is the difference between the nominal maximum transmission power of a mobile device (or other user equipment) and the actual transmission power of the device.”  (Emphasis in original.)  The patent’s alleged innovation was expanding “the lower limit of the reporting range.”  For example, the court highlighted language in claim 1 of the ’957 patent as follows: An apparatus, comprising: a processor configured to determine a power headroom report; and a transmitter configured to transmit the headroom report, wherein the processor is configured to determine the power headroom report with both positive and negative values of power headroom, as applicable, in which negative values indicate the missing power in dB to fulfill transmission requirements, and wherein the processor… Read More »E.D. Texas Mag.: Device Power Reporting Patent-Ineligible