Posts Tagged: "patent eligible"

AI and the Word that’s Been Missing from the Patent Eligibility Case Law

The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution poses new problems for deciding patent eligibility, problems for which the current body of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit case law and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) policy is ill-equipped to address. In particular, Alice Step 2, one of the most misunderstood doctrines in all of patent law, has the potential to become even more muddled when considering AI inventions. This is because the case law, as well as examiner practice, have tended to over-emphasize the importance of the conventionality or genericness of computers recited in the claims or described in the specification.

Prost Dissents from CAFC’s Denial of New Trial on Damages for Google

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday, June 3, issued a precedential decision affirming a district court’s orders in favor of EcoFactor, Inc. against Google, whose appeal in part asked for a new trial on damages due to prejudicial error. Judge Prost dissented-in-part. EcoFactor sued Google for infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 8,738,327 relating to smart thermostat technology. EcoFactor said Google’s Nest thermostat products in particular were infringing. Google moved for summary judgment that certain claims of the patent were invalid as abstract under Section 101 but the district court denied the motion, and also denied Google’s Daubert motion to exclude the opinion of EcoFactor’s damages expert, Mr. Kennedy, whose testimony Google argued was “unreliable and therefore prejudicial,” according to the CAFC.

USIJ and Medical Device Group Urge Movement on PERA and PREVAIL

The Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) and the Alliance of U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) sent a letter today to the leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property to express their support for both the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership Act (PREVAIL Act) and the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act (PERA). Both PREVAIL and PERA were introduced on June 22, 2023. The PREVAIL Act aims to reform Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) practices while PERA would eliminate all judicially-created exceptions to U.S. patent eligibility law.

CAFC Precedential Decision on Rule 12(b)(6) Affirms Patent Ineligibility of Medical Scan Visualization Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision decision authored by Judge Reyna today affirming a district court’s grant of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion alleging that AI Visualize’s patent claims were ineligible under Section 101. AI Visualize owns U.S. Patent Nos. 8,701,167 (’167 patent), 9,106,609 (’609 patent), 9,438,667 (’667 patent), and 10,930,397 (’397 patent), which all relate to visualization of medical scans. AI Visualize sued Nuance Communications, Inc. and Mach7 Technologies, Inc. for patent infringement. Nuance filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, arguing the claims were directed to patent ineligible subject matter. Since AI Visualize’s Amended Complaint provided no further information about the eligibility of the claims and neither party asked for claim construction, the district court reviewed the eligibility of the claims and concluded they were all ineligible.

SCOTUS (Unsurprisingly) Declines Invitation to Clarify Alice

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 1, dismissed a petition asking the Court to revisit and clarify its seminal holding in Alice v. CLS Bank. The petition stems from a 2023 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruling upholding a district court’s grant of summary judgment that certain claims of Ficep Corporation’s U.S. Patent 7,974,719 (’719 patent) were patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The ‘719 patent covers a method of manufacturing industrial steel.

Rader’s Ruminations – Patent Eligibility III: Seven Times the Federal Circuit Has Struck Out

The U.S. Supreme Court’s flimsy eligibility jurisprudence offers the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) several “softball pitches” to avoid a patent bloodbath. To date, the Federal Circuit has struck out at preserving the patent system — at least twice without really even taking a swing! The first softball pitch appears in the High Court’s initial decision to exalt judge-made “exceptions” over the 200-year-old statutory rule, namely, Mayo v. Prometheus.

Rader’s Ruminations – Patent Eligibility II: How the Supreme Court Ignored Statute and Revived Its Innovation-Killing Two-Step

The Supreme Court has never quite grasped the distinction between patent eligibility and patentability. Eligibility involves entire subject matter categories or fields of inventive enterprise, like the categories “process, machine, [article of] manufacture, or composition of matter.” 35 U.S.C. 101. Ascertaining eligibility should therefore require little more than checking the patent title and ensuring that, in the words of the venerable Judge Giles Rich, “[the invention] produces a useful, concrete and tangible result.”  State Street Bank v. Signature Fin. Group, 149 F. 3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998). In simple terms, Section 101 requires little more for eligibility than a showing that an invention has applied natural principles to achieve a concrete purpose within the expansive categories articulated by Thomas Jefferson in 1793. Patentability, on the other hand, proceeds as a detailed claim-by-claim, feature-by-feature examination of “the conditions and requirements of this title.” 35 U.S.C. 101. Ironically this fundamental distinction that eludes the Supreme Court is explicit in the statutory language of 35 U.S.C. 101 itself.

‘Tic Tac Fruit’ Gaming System Claims Fail CAFC’s Eligibility Analysis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Thursday, March 21, affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment that claims of a patent for an electronic gaming system were ineligible under Section 101. U.S. Patent No. 7,736,223 is owned by Savvy Dog Systems and POM of Pennsylvania (Savvy Dog) and is directed to a “more skill-based and less chance-based” version of a popular electronic game called “Tic Tac Fruit.” Savvy Dog sued Pennsylvania Coin and PA Coin Holdings (Pennsylvania Coin) for infringement in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Coin moved to dismiss the case, in part because it said the claims constituted patent ineligible subject matter.

High-Tech Groups and EFF Revive Patent Troll Narrative and Other Lies

Efforts by high-tech companies to undermine both the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2023 and the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act ramped up this week, with a joint letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee by a number of tech industry organizations on Monday and a campaign launched by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday.

CAFC Partially Reverses Noninfringement Judgment But Scraps IBM Web Advertising Claims as Ineligible

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in a precedential decision today mostly upheld a district court ruling that found Chewy, Inc. did not infringe several claims of one IBM web advertising patent and that granted summary judgment of patent ineligibility on certain claims of another. However, the decision, authored by Chief Judge Kimberly Moore, reversed the district court’s finding of noninfringement on one of the five asserted claims of one patent, remanding the case for further proceedings on that issue.

Rader’s Ruminations – Patent Eligibility, Part 1: The Judge-Made ‘Exceptions’ are Both Unnecessary and Misconstrued

In supreme irony, the U.S. Supreme Court lists the three exceptions to statutory patent eligibility in Chakrabarty, Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980) — the case most famous for the observation that Thomas Jefferson’s statutory language from the 1793 Act (still in place today) covers “anything under the sun made by man.” Id. at 309. While construing Jefferson’s “broad” statutory language in 35 U.S.C. 101 with “wide scope,” the Court noted: “The laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas have been held not patentable.” Id. The Court tries to support this listing with a string citation to several cases — each standing for something different than an exception from statutory language. Still, to ensure clarity, the Court gives examples: “a new mineral discovered in the earth or a new plant found in the wild is not patentable subject matter.” Likewise, Einstein could not patent his celebrated law that E=mc2, nor could Newton have patented the law of gravity.”  Id. So far so good, but this classic example of the Court trying to sound informed and competent out of its comfort zone reemerges 30 years later to replace (and effectively overrule) the statutory rule that governed for over 200 years and remains in Title 35.

Witnesses Clash Over Potential Pros and Cons of PERA in Senate IP Subcommittee Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property today held a hearing featuring eight witnesses who testified about the need to restore certainty to U.S. patent eligibility law. Most, but not all, agreed such a need exists and urged quick passage of the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2023 (PERA). Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced PERA in June of last year. The bill would eliminate all judicially-created exceptions to U.S. patent eligibility law.

Another 101 Bites the Dust as High Court Denies Realtime Data Petition

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a petition asking the High Court to clarify patent eligibility jurisprudence under Section 101 since its 2014 ruling in Alice Corp. Pty Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l. Realtime Data, LLC asked the Court specifically to address the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) August 2023 decision holding 211 of its patent claims ineligible as abstract.

Exploring the Misguided Notion that ‘Merely Doing It on A Computer’ Negates Eligibility

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision alleges that “…merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.” And the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act (PERA) of 2023 alleges that “adding a non-essential reference to a computer by merely stating, ‘do it on a computer’ shall not establish such eligibility.” Clearly, it is assumed that “merely” doing something on a computer or “merely” saying “do it on a computer” is not a desirable thing in the eyes of some; a computer supposedly invalidates the inventive effort and “merely” doing something on a computer is undeserving of even consideration of a patent.

Supreme Court Again Denies Inventor’s Bid to End Alice/Mayo

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court denied inventor Jeffrey Killian’s petition for a rehearing in his case asking the Court to provide clear guidance on – or else throw out – the Alice/Mayo test for patent eligibility. The Supreme Court denied Killian’s original petition in early October, but Killian filed a request for rehearing several weeks later. Killian first filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court in April, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB)’s ruling rejecting claims of his U.S. Patent Application No. 14/450,042 under Section 101.

Varsity Sponsors

IPWatchdog Events

Patent Portfolio Management Masters™ 2024
June 24 @ 1:00 pm - June 26 @ 2:00 pm EDT
Webinar – Sponsored by LexisNexis
August 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Women’s IP Forum
August 26 @ 11:00 am - August 27 @ 5:00 pm EDT
IP Solutions, Services & Platforms Expo
September 9 @ 1:00 pm - September 10 @ 2:00 pm EDT
Webinar – Sponsored by Anaqua
September 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

From IPWatchdog