Category Archives: § 101

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Federal Circuit Finds Claims Implemented on a General Purpose Cellphone Not Patentable

In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, the Supreme Court applied its two-part test for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 – i.e., (1) whether the claims are drawn on a law of nature, natural phenomenon or abstract idea, and (2) whether the claims provide sufficient “inventive concept.” In Alice, the Supreme Court ultimately … Continue reading this entry

Two Recent Decisions Put Alice "Step One" on Center Stage at The Federal Circuit

On May 12 and May 17, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued decisions in two § 101 cases, EnFish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp. and In re TLI Communications, LLC. Both authored by Judge Hughes, the decisions illustrate the difficult process of determining where to draw the line between a claim that is directed to an “abstract idea” under step … Continue reading this entry

The Threshold of Exceptionality: There Is a Line, and It Can Be Crossed

Non-practicing entity (“NPE”) plaintiffs beware and NPE defendants be delighted: sanctions for objectively unreasonable claims and conduct are alive and well. Defendants in NPE litigations, particularly in the Eastern District of Texas, received encouraging news recently when Judge Gilstrap granted $390,829 in fees to more than 20 defendants in response to motions for attorneys’ fees on … Continue reading this entry

Patent Eligibility Under Alice: Reliance on Lack of Routine or Conventional Use

Federal courts have continued to wrestle with the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 set by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014). This is illustrated, for example, in two decisions – one from a district court and one from the … Continue reading this entry

Has the Machine-or-Transformation Test Returned to Prominence in Patent Cases?

The machine-or-transformation test was once the gatekeeper of patent eligibility, but that reign ended in 2010 when the Supreme Court stated in Bilski that it is not the sole test for determining patentability. By 2013 the test became largely ignored, for example in the Federal Circuit’s Ultramercial opinion. When that opinion was vacated and remanded by the Supreme … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Software Patents

The Supreme Court heard arguments this morning in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, which concerns the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. This is the fourth recent Supreme Court case addressing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, following Bilski, Mayo and Myriad–however none of those cases explicitly addressed § 101 as applied to computer-implemented … Continue reading this entry

"Patent Reform 2014" White Paper Available for Download

Over the past 2 years I’ve been closely following the slew of patent reform proposals in Congress, the Executive Branch, the Courts, and the 50 States.  I have yet to find a document that lists–much less explains–all the many, many proposals percolating in DC and across the country. So I wrote one: “PATENT REFORM 2014:  A Comprehensive Guide to Current … Continue reading this entry

Are Computer-Implemented Inventions Patent Eligible?

On March 31, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l (Supreme Court Docket No. 13-298). At issue is the scope of § 101 patent-eligible subject matter, with the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions hanging in the balance. Special interest groups have shown significant interest in the outcome … Continue reading this entry

District Courts Staying Cases Pending CLS Bank, but the Federal Circuit Decides One

In December, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp., No. 13-298, in which the question presented by the petitioner is “[w]hether claims to computer-implemented inventions — including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture — are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Breathes New Life Into § 101 Challenges

Today, the Federal Circuit issued a fractured decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2013) that may breathe new life into challenges to patent validity under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Despite seven different opinions from the en banc Court, none of which garnered a majority, the Court affirmed that the software-oriented patent claims … Continue reading this entry