In granting a summary determination motion, ALJ Lord found that the patent owner’s (Owner) patents were directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This was the first successful challenge to patentability under Section 101 at the International Trade Commission (ITC) since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International.
A district court in Virginia has found a patent related to a navigation system that assists users in locating stores to be directed to an unpatentable abstract idea. U.S. Patent No. 6,397,143 (the “’143 patent”), titled “Layout based method for map navigation” was issued to Inventor George Peschke in 2002. The patent is directed to a computer-based map navigation system that provides a “visual presentation of a shopping center” to the user and assists the user in locating stores and businesses in and around the shopping mall. Each store shown on the visual presentation can be clicked to view a description page about that store. Last year, Peschke sued Rouse Properties Inc. for infringement of the ’143 patent, alleging that Rouse’s website for a shopping mall uses a computerized mapping system. Rouse moved to dismiss the suit under Section 101. The court granted Rouse’s motion, finding that the asserted claims were directed toward an abstract idea.
A federal judge in the Northern District of California ruled that two patents asserted against Apple Inc. are invalid for failure to meet the patent-eligibility test as established in Alice. The patents are asserted by OpenTV, Inc., a subsidiary of Kudelski SA. OpenTV accuses Apple services such as Apple TV and iTunes of infringing patents generally directed to secure transmission of media content to a target device, such as a television, computer, or smartphone.
In a January 22, 2016 decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution of covered business method (CBM) review of an ATM patent under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Petitioner NRT Technology sought review of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,792, which relates to a modified ATM terminal that allows a user to obtain cash from a bank account through one of multiple alternative networks. According to the patent, when a cardholder attempts to withdraw money via an ATM network and fails because she has exceeded her daily limit, the request is routed through a different type of transaction, such as a point-of-sale (POS) network. When the POS transaction is approved, the ATM terminal informs a nearby money location—for example, a hotel concierge or a cash window at a casino—of the approved transaction, and the cardholder obtains the money from that location instead of the ATM terminal itself.
An Eastern District of Texas judge denied Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings that the asserted claims are invalid under Alice concluding the decision here is best left until after claim construction. The claims at issue relate to processing coupons. Defendants contend the asserted claims should be invalidated because they are directed to the abstract idea of ‘offering, tracking, and processing discounts’—a concept Defendants contend is a longstanding commercial practice.” Id. at 5. Defendants also argued that the discount vehicle claims are invalid under the printed matter doctrine because the claim term “discount vehicle” can only be interpreted as paper with certain text and/or graphics printed on it. Plaintiff responded that making a decision at this stage is inappropriate because there exists underlying factual disputes concerning the scope of the claims. Specifically, Plaintiff argued that “discount vehicle” is not limited to a sheet or card as interpreted by Defendants.
The Federal Circuit has affirmed a summary judgment of invalidity finding the asserted claims patent-ineligible under Alice. Plaintiff Mortgage Grader sued Costco and First Choice alleging infringement of two patents relating to systems and methods for a borrower to evaluate and obtain financing from multiple lenders. The patent claims are directed to “a computer-implemented system for enabling borrowers to anonymously shop for loan packages offered by a plurality of lenders” using a loan package database and computer interfaces that allow the lenders and borrowers to interact. First Choice filed a motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims were patent-ineligible under § 101. Both sides submitted expert reports in support of their § 101 positions. The district court agreed with First Choice and entered summary judgment that all of the asserted claims were directed to the unpatentable abstract idea of “anonymous loan shopping.” On appeal, Mortgage Grader argued that the district court erred by improperly resolving underlying factual disputes and misapplying the Alice test.