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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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Uniloc Communications System Patent Survives § 101 Challenge Based on Technical Improvement: Uniloc USA, Inc. v. LG Electronics USA, Inc.

Patent claims directed to a communication system recite a technical solution and therefore, the Federal Circuit held, are not patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the two-part Mayo/Alice test. Uniloc USA, Inc. v. LG Electronics USA, Inc., No. 2019-1835 (Fed. Cir. April 30, 2020) (precedential) (opinion by Judge Moore, joined by Judges Reyna and Taranto). The court thus reversed Judge Koh in the Northern District of California, who had found that claims of U.S. Patent 6,993,049 were not patent-eligible, and had granted a Rule12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Representative claim 2 of the ’049 patent recites: A primary station for use in a communications system comprising at least one secondary station, wherein means are provided for broadcasting a series of inquiry messages, each in the form of a plurality of predetermined data fields arranged according to a first communications protocol, and for adding to each inquiry message prior to transmission an additional data…

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Data Processing Can Be Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit in Koninklijke KPN N.V. v. Gemalto M2M GmbH

A patent claiming a “device for producing error checking based on original data provided in blocks with each block having plural bits in a particular ordered sequence” has survived a patent-eligibility challenge at the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the two-part Mayo/Alice test the. Koninklijke KPN N.V. v. Gemalto M2M GmbH, Nos. 2018-1863, 2018-1864, 2018-1865 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 15, 2019) (precedential) (opinion by Judge Chen, joined by Judges Dyk and Stoll). U.S. Patent No. 6,212,662 includes only four claims, one independent. The district court had granted judgment on the pleadings based on finding all four claims patent-ineligible. KPN, the plaintiff-appellant, appealed with respect to dependent claims 2-4, and the Federal Circuit reversed. This case is a poster child for setting forth a technical problem, and the inventor’s solution to it, in the patent specification. Check data, the court noted, is well known for confirming the accuracy of…

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