Posts Tagged: "35 USC 101"

Blockchain Patenting Strategies in view of the Berkheimer Decision

The same factual analysis required in Berkheimer under step 2B should apply to fundamental economic practice analysis of claims under step 2A. The questions have similar factual underpinnings in both steps. Applicants, when faced with economic based claims and particularly blockchain-based claims, should argue that whether a claim is directed to a fundamental economic practice is a fact question that has three parts. (1) The claims should be directed to a “fundamental” economic practice; (2) The claims should be directed to practice it has been “long” practiced in the system of commerce; and (3) The claim should be directed to a “prevalent” practice in our system of commerce. Each of these fact questions requires supporting evidence which should fall in the same four categories outlined in the April 19, 2018 Memorandum.

USAA Asserts Mobile Check Deposit Patents Against Wells Fargo

USAA alleges that Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit remote deposit capture system, which was released years after either of USAA’s remote deposit services were first offered, infringe upon the asserted patents. Wells Fargo Mobile Deposit has been downloaded more than 10 million times from the Google Play Store alone and by February 2018, Wells Fargo had 21 million users who were actively using a mobile banking account. Wells Fargo mobile check deposit system involves the use of alignment guides and feedback indicators which are designed to assist customers in orienting the camera, features covered by the USAA patents. Although USAA approached Wells Fargo last August to discuss the licensing of USAA’s remote deposit capture patents, Wells Fargo allegedly continues to practice the technologies without any compensation to USAA. Along with counts for infringement of each patent asserted, USAA is also seeking a finding of willful infringement to enhance the actual damages by three times.

Iancu: People have a right to know what is patent eligible

While the subject matter of the speech was similar, this speech by Director Iancu was different. It was much more direct and forceful than any of his previous speeches. Iancu asked how inventors are supposed to know where to focus energy and effort without knowing what is patent eligible. That is an excellent question. One that Congress and the Courts should take to heart and thoroughly consider. Very real damage has been done to the U.S. patent system as the result of unnecessary uncertainty and an overly restrictive view of what is patent eligible in the U.S.

Federal Circuit: No matter how much the advance the claims recite, they are patent ineligible

This case and the passage above merely confirms what we have long known to be true. The magnitude of the innovation does not matter. Whether there is an innovation does not matter. Certain advances, certain innovations, are simply not patentable in America. No longer is “anything made by man under the sun” patent eligible.

Lofgren, Issa Denounce Proposed PTAB Claim Construction Changes in Oversight Hearing

found it disturbing that the Director Iancu would circumvent the prerogative of Congress with recently announced proposed PTAB claim construction changes, though she admitted the decision wasn’t unlawful. She expounded for several minutes on issues of res judicata, which could tie the hands of the PTAB in light of district court or U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decisions regarding patent validity. “[This] would completely blow up what we were trying to do as a Congress,” Lofgren said. “It looks to me that the people who disagreed with [the AIA] and lost in the Congress, they went to the Supreme Court, they lost in the Supreme Court, and now they’re going to you, and you are reversing what the Congress decided to do and what the Court said was permissible to do.”

Director Iancu worries current state of Section 101 ‘weakens the robustness of our IP system’

Director Iancu: “But for our purposes what I know for a fact is that in order to incentivize American innovation whether it’s artificial intelligence, DNA processing, or anything else we need to have a robust predictable reliable intellectual property system here at home. And I do worry that the current state of Section 101 in patentable subject matter weakens the robustness of our IP system in the affected areas. And if industry cannot predict in a relatively reliable way whether their investments will be protected from an intellectual property point of view I think that will result in less investment, less growth, fewer jobs created in the affected industries. So I do think it is critically important for our economy. And again whatever industry we’re talking about and whatever industry we want to grow it’s critically important to have a strong reliable and predictable intellectual property system.”

Patent Subject Matter Eligibility 101

The patents discussed below are all landmark inventions and were conceived by inventors inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). Would these ground-breaking inventions, that helped set the course of humanity, be patentable today? … The point is that at first blush it’s not readily clear whether these patents would be found subject matter eligible, demonstrating that the uncertainty created by the Supreme Court with respect to patent subject matter eligibility has few bounds – even impacting the most celebrated inventions of our most honored inventors… If we cannot determine with reasonable certainty how all of these inventions would fare if judged under recent Supreme Court case law, then no one can truly teach Patent Subject Matter Eligibility 101.

Federal Circuit rules Alice did not alter the law governing 101

How the Federal Circuit could rule that Alice did not change the law governing § 101 is a bit of a mystery. Applying the same two-step test seems a convenient way of dodging reality. At a time when there is real momentum gathering for a legislative solution to § 101 why did the Federal Circuit choose to perpetuate a myth that Alice did nothing to change the law? Outcomes are unquestionably different as the result of Alice, and if outcomes are different how exactly is it possible that the law did not change? If the law remained the same why was Alice a clear pivotal moment in software patent history? Saying Alice did not change the law shows just how out of touch and insulated from reality the Federal Circuit has become.

USPTO memo explains changed Alice Step 2B to examiners

Yesterday the USPTO issued subject matter eligibility guidance to its examining corps in a memorandum that changes how examiners approach their Alice Step 2B analysis. Specifically, the memo recognizes the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and instructs examiners to abide by its holding. Berkheimer itself held that the question of whether certain claim limitations represent well-understood, routine, or conventional activity under Alice Step 2B is a factual issue, with Berkheimer precluding summary judgment that all of the claims at issue were not patent eligible. This principle was then reaffirmed by the Federal Circuit a week later in Aatrix Software, Inc. v. Green Shades Software, Inc., 882 F.3d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2018) in the context of a judgment on the pleadings and judgment as a matter of law.

CAFC Upholds Section 101 Invalidity Finding on Rule 12(b)(6) Motion, Nixing Patents Covering App Management

On Monday, April 9th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the invalidity of a series of patents asserted against the American subsidiary of Japanese consumer electronics firm Funai. The patents, owned by Illinois-based Maxon, LLC, covered electronic means for improving user control over subscription entertainment content but the claimed technologies were deemed to be invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the basic statute governing the patentability of inventions. The decision was issued by a panel comprised of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Todd Hughes and Kara Stoll.

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Discusses Patentability of Algorithms, PTAB Proceedings at Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Harris followed up by asking whether algorithms were mathematical representations of laws of nature. “You’re getting right to the heart of the issue,” Iancu said. What Iancu said after that should be a major breath of fresh air to inventors and patent owners frustrated by Section 101 validity issues in the wake of Alice and Mayo: “This is one place where I believe courts have gone off the initial intent. There are human-made algorithms, human-made algorithms that are the result of human ingenuity that are not set from time immemorial and that are not absolutes, they depend on human choices. Those are very different from E=mc2 and they are very different from the Pythagorean theorem, for example.”

Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer Music Apps Sued for Infringing Music Organizer and Entertainment Center Patent

Patent owner MOAEC Technologies filed suits alleging claims of patent infringement in the District of Delaware against a series of music entertainment app providers including Spotify, SoundCloud and Deezer. The suits claim that music services offered by all three defendants infringe upon a patent covering a music library collection technology invented by the founder of MOAEC… MOAEC’s suits also include language in an apparent attempt to preempt any patent validity challenges under 35 U.S.C. § 101, the basic statute governing the patentability of inventions, under the Alice/Mayo framework.

The CAFC Split Non-precedential Decision in Exergen v. Kaz Raises Interesting Issues About Eligibility Determinations

In Exergen Corporation v. Kaz USA, No. 16-2315 (March 8, 2018), the Federal Circuit, in a split non-precedential opinion, affirmed a holding that Exergen’s claims directed to methods and apparatuses for detecting core body temperature were directed to patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101… The majority held that the district court did not clearly err in finding that it was unconventional to use temperature scanning technology to measure arterial temperature beneath the skin… Judge Hughes dissented, arguing that the majority erred by relying on the natural law in determining inventiveness at step two… Judge Hughes seems to suggest that the correct step-two inquiry should be whether, assuming the natural phenomenon were known, it would have been conventional to combine that phenomenon with existing technology to practice the asserted claims.

BlackBerry Sues Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp for Willful Infringement of Mobile Communications Patents

Canadian intellectual property owner BlackBerry Limited filed a suit alleging patent infringement claims against Menlo Park, CA-based social media giant Facebook Inc. in the Central District of California. BlackBerry alleges that Facebook, along with its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram, violate patents held by BlackBerry in the field of mobile messaging communications.

Portal Communications Alleges Apple’s Siri Willfully Infringes on Natural Language Processing Patents

Portal Communications filed a suit for patent infringement against Cupertino, CA-based consumer tech giant Apple Inc. At issue in the case, which was filed in the Eastern District of Texas, are a series of patents covering natural language voice query technologies which are allegedly in use by Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant.


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