On August 3, 2017, Judge Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas denied a motion to exclude the testimony of defendants’ expert regarding patentability for parroting arguments from defendants’ motion for summary judgement.
On February 13, 2017, Judge Roy Payne issued a report and recommendation to grant DeVilbiss Healthcare, LLC’s (“DeVilbiss”) motion to dismiss My Health, Inc.’s (“My Health”) complaint, holding that the asserted patent failed to claim patent-eligible subject matter as required by 35 U.S.C. § 101.
On December 29, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a decision rejecting most claims of an application for an MRI machine patent, finding the claims directed toward an abstract idea and therefore patent-ineligible under § 101.
On November 10, 2016, Judge David C. Godbey of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas held that two video upload patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The patents, owned by Youtoo Technologies, were asserted against Twitter, which acquired the Vine application in January 2013. Judge Godbey described the asserted patents as directed to a system of “receiving and distributing user-generated video content for distribution on television broadcasts and the Internet.”
In Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., Chief Judge Prost affirmed a district court’s finding that Affinity Labs’ patent was invalid for being directed to ineligible subject matter because it was directed to an abstract idea and contained no inventive concept. Affinity’s U.S. Patent No. 8,688,085 is directed to media systems that deliver content to a handheld wireless electronic device. The court went through the two step process articulated in Alice to determine the patent’s eligibility under § 101.
A recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Federal Circuit) reversed a summary judgment of invalidity due to patent ineligible subject matter. The two patents at issue cover automating a 3-D animation method for facial features. The district court based its decision on Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2353, 189 L. Ed. 2d 296 (2014). The district court’s ruling primarily relied on the fact that the patents claim a method of automation that encompasses certain rules for creating the animation, but do not delineate these particular rules, thus preempting all such “rules-based” animatiion. In reversing that decision, the Federal Circuit provided insight into the determination of patent-eligible subject matter under Alice.
On August 25, 2016, the District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied a motion to dismiss for lack of patent eligible subject matter filed by defendants Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC and Mayo Clinic. Applying the two-step framework established by the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the district court held that the diagnostic method claims of the asserted patent were directed to a patent ineligible law of nature (step one), but the District Court was unable to determine at the 12(b)(6) stage whether the claims contained an inventive concept that transformed them into a patent eligible invention (step two).
On Monday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the Southern District of Texas dismissing a patent infringement lawsuit under Rule 12(b)(6) because the asserted patent directed to managing oil well data is invalid for claiming patent-ineligible subject matter under § 101. The asserted patent describes various processes and systems for determining the current state of an oil well through receiving and validating data from sensors in the well. Applying the Supreme Court’s Alice test for determining invalidity under § 101, the Federal Circuit found both elements of the test were met: (1) the claim is “directed to one of the patent-ineligible concepts (i.e., law of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract idea),” and (2) the claim elements do not “transform the nature of the claim into a patent-eligible application.”