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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,…

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Technological Improvement in Roof Imaging is Patent-Eligible

Can claims directed to correlating images into a three-dimensional model provide a technological improvement sufficient to be patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101? Yes, says the Court in Eagle View Techs., Inc. v. Xactware Sol’ns, Inc., No. 15-07025 (D.N.J. Jan. 29, 2018). Plaintiffs’ asserted patents (U.S. Patent No. 8078436 is representative) for providing a roof repair estimate based on aerial images. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as an abstract idea without significantly more. The Court denied the motion, holding under the 2-part Alice test that the claims were directed to a technological improvement, and thus not an abstract idea. For the first step of the Alicetest, the Court noted that the claims included elements toward two non-stereoscopic and non-identical images of the roof structure that the computer manipulated to overlie each other and develop a three-dimensional model…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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