Software Patents

News & Analysis as of

EA Sports won’t be beaten at its own game – Escaping potential liability through successful § 101 motion to dismiss

It has been a long-standing business practice in the video game industry to update sports video game parameters to reflect real-world developments. Who would want to play NBA Live 95 if it didn’t incorporate Michael Jordan’s...more

Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC v. Blackberry Corp. (N.D. Tex. 2016)

Electronic Delivery of Messages Equated to U.S. Post Office Services - On May 12, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an Order in a case captioned Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC...more

Abstract Ideas and the USPTO: Examiner Guidance Post Enfish and TLI

On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a memorandum containing a summary of two recent Federal Circuit decisions along with a directive for how patent examiners should apply the holdings of the...more

USPTO Memo Updates Examiner Guidance On Subject Matter Eligibility In View Of Enfish

On May 19, 2016, just weeks after its May 2016 memorandum to examiners providing guidance on subject matter eligibility under § 101, the USPTO issued a new memo updating its guidance to examiners in view of the Federal...more

U.S. Trade Representative Issues 2016 Special 301 Report

On April 27th, Ambassador Michael B.G. Froman, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), issued the 2016 Special 301 Report. According to the USTR website, "[i]ntellectual property is a critical source of economic growth and...more

In re Certain Activity Tracking Devices, Systems, and Components Thereof

Pepys (17th century) recorded his sleep patterns, so wearable devices that record sleep patterns unpatentable? On April 27, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an Order indicating that two patents...more

The Government Whittles Away at Life Sciences Patents

The current U.S. Supreme Court has been noted for its hostility to patent holders in general, but the Supreme Court has been especially hostile to any sort of life sciences or software invention. The Court has attempted to...more

Major 101 Decision – Enfish v. Microsoft

Today in Enfish v. Microsoft, the Federal Circuit held software claims patent eligible, reversing the district court’s grant of summary judgment on 101. This is a major decision because it is only the second since Alice where...more

New Patent Office Memo To Examiners Raises The Bar For § 101 Rejections

Since the Supreme Court’s Alice decision, the Patent Office has struggled with training examiners to properly analyze claims under section 101, and set forth well-reasoned patent-eligibility rejections. The Patent Office...more

The Mind as Computer Metaphor: Benson and the Mistaken Application of Mental Steps to Software (Part 1)

Of the three recognized judicial exceptions to Section 101—laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas—none has proved more resistant to reasoned judicial analysis than the last. From its inception in Gottschalk v....more

The Internet of Things: Evaluating the Interplay of Interoperability, Industry Standards, and Related IP Licensing Approaches...

We recently published a client alert on January 26, 2016 that addressed some of the more significant Internet of Things (“IoT”) -specific standards and initiatives and emphasized the importance of interoperability as central...more

The Mind as Computer Metaphor: Benson and the Mistaken Application of Mental Steps to Software (Part 3)

Part III. Functionalism: A Philosophical Argument In Support Of The Functional Equivalence Of Mental Steps And Computer - Even if UDC did not support the Solicitor General’s argument that “the functions themselves are...more

The Mind as Computer Metaphor: Benson and the Mistaken Application of Mental Steps to Software (Part 2)

The fictional form of the mental steps doctrine arose in Benson, where the Court stated: A digital computer, as distinguished from an analog computer, is that which operates on data expressed in digits, solving a problem...more

Supreme Court Vacates Alice in view of #AliceStorm

In a little-noticed order issued recently, the Supreme Court vacated the Alice decision. This comes less than a month after this tweet made the rounds in the patent community...more

Patentable Subject Matter after Alice: Best Practices for Responding to 35 U.S.C. § 101 Rejections

It has been over 20 months since the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, effectively limiting the scope of patent-eligible subject matter. In particular, software and business...more

[Webinar] Keeping What is Yours Yours: Best Practices for Software Companies to Protect Their “Secret Sauce” - Feb. 9th, 1:00pm,...

In today’s fast paced, if not neck-breaking, speed at which advancements in software development and platforms occur, one issue facing software companies is how to keep their competitors from obtaining the "secret sauce." ...more

PTAB Refuses Attempt to Kill ATM Patent as Claiming Abstract Idea: NRT Technology Corp. and NRT Technologies, Inc., Petitioner, v....

In what appears to be a small measure of good news (and hope for the future) for patent holders in the automated teller machine art, the PTAB last week held that claims to an ATM-implemented money dispensing process were not...more

IP Newsflash - October 2015 #3

DISTRICT COURT CASES - Mobile Device Data Monitoring Patent Not Directed to Abstract Idea Under § 101 - On October 26, 2015, Judge Sparks of the Western District of Texas denied defendant’s motion for summary...more

[Webinar] Software Patent Eligibility - A Post-Alice Landscape Discussion - Nov. 10th, 10:00am PST

Join our panel of Knobbe Martens partners for this complimentary and informative webinar to discuss the state of software patent eligibility after Alice Corp v. CLS Bank International. Since the Supreme Court's...more

Access to Continued Litigation Denied: Method for Intrusion Detection Found Invalid Under Section 101

Order Granting Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Protegrity USA, Inc., et al. v. Netskope Inc., Case No. 15-cv-02515-YGR (Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers) - The NorCal IP Blog has extensively covered the increasing...more

Certain Uncertainty: The Future Of Computer Software Patents

LIFE AFTER ALICE ... THE STORY SO FAR - Since the Alice decision came down last June, the world of computer software patents has been upended, both in litigation and in prosecution. In the realm of prosecution, patent...more

Bad Day for California as TTA Sales Tax Exemption for Software Is Broadly Reaffirmed by Appellate Court – Will Taxpayer Refund...

In a significant rebuff of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), the California Second District Court of Appeal held that a manufacturer’s sale of software on tangible media was exempt from sales tax under the...more

A Perfect Storm for Automotive Patent Disputes?

As the automotive industry rebounds from its recessionary levels to an all time record level of spending on vehicles and healthy profitability, one of the key drivers of the increased vehicles sales has been increased...more

Are Transitory Signals Patent-eligible?

Computer software patents have been receiving significant upset overturn in validity since the well-known U.S. Supreme Court decision providing certain exceptions to patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, ...more

Patent Owner’s Licensing Program Was Fatal to Its Patent Infringement Theory - JVC Kenwood Corporation v. Nero, Inc.

Addressing whether an accused defendant infringed patents through the distribution of its software, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s summary judgment that the defendant did not...more

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