Computer-Related Inventions Patent-Eligible Subject Matter

News & Analysis as of

Claims for a New Abstract Idea are Still Claims to an Abstract Idea, Invalid under §101

In Synopsis, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corporation, [2015-1599] (October 17, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment that claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,530,841; 5,680,318; and 5,748,488 were invalid under 35 U.S.C....more

Federal Circuit Finds Three Intellectual Venture’s Patents Invalid under the Mayo/Alice Framework

The Federal Circuit recently decided a case concerning three patents owned by Intellectual Ventures I LLC (“IV”). Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., Case Nos. 2015-1769, 2015-1770, 2015-1771 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 30,...more

AliceStorm Update for October 2016

The Federal Circuit's recent decision in McRO has been interpreted by many in the patent community as a further signal that the so-called "pendulum" is swinging back to a more favorable position for patentees. There is some...more

A Silver Lining for Software Patents

Software patents play an important role in commercializing innovation in our increasingly digital world. The software inventions that scientists, developers, and engineers create are valuable and deserve protection. But since...more

Federal Circuit invalidates Affinity’s content-delivery patents for failing to disclose implementation of claimed functions

The Federal Circuit recently decided two related cases concerning media content delivery patents1 owned by Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC. In both cases, the Federal Circuit held that the patents do not cover patent-eligible...more

Judge Mayer’s Concurrence in IV Shows the Problem with Judicially Created Exceptions

The press is all abuzz with reactions to Judge Mayer’s concurring opinion bluntly stating that “claims directed to software implemented on a generic computer are categorically not eligible for patent.” Intellectual Ventures...more

MAZ Encryption Technologies: The Proper Way to Decide a Rule 12(c) Motion for Ineligible Subject Matter

Given the volume of district court decisions regarding Section 101, I typically don't find ones that stand out enough to warrant discussion. But last week's decision by Judge Stark in MAZ Encryption Technologies LLC v....more

MRCO v. Bandai Shows the Way to Broader Method Claims that Satisfy Alice and Mayo

It is said that one should cast a “wide net to catch the big fish.” In patent parlance, the wide net is the claims and the big fish are the competitors and customers. The computer/software industry and diagnostic industry,...more

Boilerplate – New Consideration in View of Patent Subject Matter

Can boilerplate language describing possible variations to an invention ever impact validity of a patent? Many software patents include standard “boilerplate” text describing many ways to implement an invention, such as by...more

More Lessons From McRo

My previous blog on McRo focused on the direct aspects of the decision, but there are other excellent points that the court makes and that can be derived from the opinion, and that should play an important role in how the...more

Federal Circuit Provides Additional Support to Software Patents

The federal circuit recently reversed a decision in McRO, Inc. v. DBA Planet Blue that asserted claims in patents at issue, relating to a method for automatically animating lip synchronization and facial expression of...more

REDUCING RISKS: Court Finds Copyright Act Does Not Preempt State Trade Secret Claim

Over the years, it has proven difficult to fit software in any one category of IP protection. And while software’s ability to seemingly transcend patents, copyright, and trade secrets provides software developers and...more

Federal Circuit Rules That Patent For Animating Lip Synchronization Is Not Abstract Idea, Upholds Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. §...

In a closely-watch case involving the patent-eligibility of a computer-implemented method for automating the process of synchronizing lip movement and facial expressions of a 3-D animated figure to speech, the U.S. Court of...more

In McRO, Federal Circuit Provides Further Guidance on Section 101

Two years after the Central District of California invalidated two 3-D animation patents under Section 101, the Federal Circuit reversed that court’s decision, finding that the lower court oversimplified the claims of a...more

Litigation Alert: The Federal Circuit Forms a Trio of Patent Eligible Subject Matter for Software Methods, Reversing Finding of...

Last week, the Federal Circuit again addressed when claimed methods involving software are too abstract to be patentable. The Federal Circuit in McRO Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America held that a combination of steps using...more

Subject Matter Eligibility May Rest on Whether Software is “Technological”

Two recently issued decisions by federal courts highlight the uncertainty around claims to software-implemented inventions after the Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. Both decisions relate to the patent...more

Automatic Animation Software Method Found Patentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101

Since the Supreme Court's decision two years ago in Alice v. CLS Bank, courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have found a large percentage of software and computer-related inventions to claim abstract ideas and not...more

Continuing a Recent Trend, the Federal Circuit Again Confirmed that Properly Drafted Software Claims Can be Patent Eligible Under...

Continuing a recent trend, the Federal Circuit recently reversed a determination that claims of a patent are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In McRO v. Bandai Namco Games America, the Federal Circuit again concluded that...more

McRO v. Bandai: Latest Federal Circuit § 101 Decision Breathes New Life into Software Patents

The Federal Circuit last week handed down the latest in a series of decisions finding computer-implemented inventions to be patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America, Inc. et al. (Fed....more

Federal Circuit Highlights Claim Construction in Patent Eligibility Analysis

The case demonstrates that the eligibility analysis is highly fact-specific and dependent on properly construed claims. In McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

McRO v. Namco – Fed. Cir. Reverses s. 101 Invalidation of Animation Method Patents

I first posted on this case in September 2014, and urge you to find the post and the district court’s opinion in the Archives. It provides a good – well, adequate– description of the patented technology, which is a method to...more

What the Federal Circuit's Decision in McRO v. Bandai Could Mean for Computer-Based Inventions and Other Innovations

In McRO v. Bandai, the Federal Circuit provides particular guidance and clarity on the issue of preemption, which it describes as “The concern underlying the exceptions to § 101.” In addition to providing another guidepost...more

Federal Circuit is In Sync with Patent’s Validity Under Section 101

The Federal Circuit overturned a District Court ruling that a patent directed to automated lip synchronization and manipulation of animated characters’ facial expressions was invalid under Section 101 as being an abstract...more

McRo: Preemption Matters After All

The Federal Circuit has released its long-awaited opinion in McRo v. Bandai, reversing the lower court’s decision that the claims were ineligible subject matter. McRo’s invention in U.S. 6,307,576 was a method used in 3D...more

Computerized Price Quote Patent Held Invalid Under §101

Alice is clear that inventions drawn to automating well-known concepts are not patent-eligible. However, this area of the law becomes a bit murky when the automated concept is one that involves concrete or physical devices....more

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