Friday, September 23, 2016

Location Information Management Patents Not Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101​

The magistrate judge recommended denying defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that plaintiff’s location information management patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "Defendants contend that all asserted claims of all asserted patents embody an abstract idea — 'managing the dissemination of location and/or event information within a community. At most, they recite different ways of organizing people into groups and managing the dissemination of location/event information through use of conventional computer and GPS technology.' . . . [I]t is improper to 'simply ask whether the claims involve a patent-ineligible concept.' To be sure, 'mere recitation of a generic computer cannot transform a patent-ineligible abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.' But this is not a license to delete all computer-related limitations from a claim and thereby declare it abstract. . . . Moreover, the mere fact that all the recited computer components are 'conventional' because the applicant did not invent an entirely new kind of computer is not inherently troubling. . . . [C]laim 6 recites a specialized procedure for accomplishing this result by using four different access codes, an administrator, users, location information, zones, and a variety of other features all working together in a particular fashion. Defendants cannot argue that there is a danger of claim 6 'tying up the future use' of the concept of location information management and dissemination."

PerdiemCo, LLC. v. IndusTrack LLC, 2-15-cv-00727 (TXED September 21, 2016, Order) (Payne, MJ)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Willfulness Expert Excluded as Unhelpful to Jury​

The court granted plaintiff's motion to exclude the testimony of defendants' expert regarding willfulness as unhelpful. "[The expert's] testimony on willfulness is not helpful to the jury, as it does not concern a matter beyond the understanding of the average person. There is no reason why the finder of fact could not evaluate any evidence and decide whether Defendants’ conduct was 'willful, wanton, malicious, bad-faith, deliberate, consciously wrongful, flagrant, or ̶ indeed ̶ characteristic of a pirate.' Because [the expert's] opinion on whether Defendants’ conduct was willful would not assist the trier of fact, it is not relevant. Further, there is no reason to believe that [the expert] has any particular qualifications above and beyond that of a layperson to determine the state of mind of another. . . . Whether or not [defendants'] actions constituted willful infringement and what weight should be given to outside counsel’s opinions on infringement is the province of the fact finder."

Loggerhead Tools, LLC v. Sears Holdings Corporation et al, 1-12-cv-09033 (ILND September 20, 2016, Order) (Darrah, USDJ)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

3-D Workspace Patents Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

​ The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s 3-D workspace patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims lacked an inventive concept. "[N]either the problem [plaintiff's] patents purportedly solve (limited screen space for the display and organization of documents) nor the suggested solution (arranging documents by frequency of use) is 'necessarily rooted in computer technology.' To the contrary, storing documents that are less frequently used in a library or on a bookshelf as opposed to on one’s desk is a common solution to a common problem of limited space in physical offices everywhere. . . . The elements of the claims that relate to the means of moving and positioning the document objects suffer from the same lack of inventive concept. According to [plaintiff], the 'touch and drop' and 'flicking' gestures were 'improvements specifically adapted for a 3-D space' because 'known techniques for operating a 2-D workspace such as drag and drop techniques were not efficient.' But the patents do not disclose any specific ways, hardware or software, that a user may program or implement these gestures. . . . An additional problem for [plaintiff] is that the patents and claims here, which are defined in terms of their functionalities only, raise a serious preemption concern."

TriDim Innovations LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., 3-15-cv-05477 (CAND September 19, 2016, Order) (Donato, USDJ)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Preliminary Injunction Denied in Light of Post-Motion Events Reflecting No Loss of Market Share

The magistrate judge recommended denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction to preclude the sale of the accused products because plaintiffs failed to establish irreparable harm and found that post-motion activity did not support plaintiffs' claim of loss of market share. "In their opening brief . . . [plaintiffs] argued then that [defendant's] infringement would deprive them of their right to exclusive manufacture and sale of the patented products, which would in turn result in 'immediate loss of business to [plaintiff] including a loss of market share and market opportunities in the United States.'. . . Yet Plaintiffs' claims were not born out. As of . . . four months after Plaintiffs' opening brief was filed [plaintiff's global marketing director] acknowledged that he did 'not [then] have proof or knowledge of any lost business.' And two and a half months after that, when Plaintiffs filed their reply brief . . . the record was hardly much different. . . . Indeed, seven months after the Motion was filed, Plaintiffs can point to scarcely any lost sales at all, and have made no assertion that the amount of [plaintiff's] product sales in the hospitals referenced above have made any appreciable dent in [plaintiff's product's] market share."

Integra LifeSciences Corporation et al v. HyperBranch Medical Technology, Inc., 1-15-cv-00819 (DED September 12, 2016, Order) (Burke, MJ)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Content Management Patents Not Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101​

The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff’s content management patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims did not lack an inventive concept. "The claims of these patents are directed to enabling users, without third-party assistance, to post content to a website and to control which users can view the posted content. . . . [T]he [claim at issue] does not merely permit a known business practice to be performed on the Internet. Instead, the claim here specifies how a solution will be implemented that addresses a business challenge particular to the Internet. . . . [A]lthough the limitations to the claim in this case are not inventive alone, the ordered combination of these limitations is inventive because, taken together, the limitations are not routine and conventional. The claim does not simply dictate that communication must be targeted and access restricted. Instead, the claim states that users themselves will be able to control interactions on their web pages by managing business rules that will utilize profiles of other users to generate configurable links to determine how other users may interact with his or her web page. . . . Regardless of whether the subject matter of the patent is characterized as group collaboration with targeted communication or as restrictions on public access, the claim contains enough inventive elements to be aimed at more than a patent on the abstract idea itself."

Zak v. Facebook, Inc., 4-15-cv-13437 (MIED September 12, 2016, Order) (Berg, USDJ)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cursory Jury Deliberation Does Not Justify New Trial​

The court denied plaintiff's motion for new trial because of the jury's "cursory" deliberations after a five-day trial. "[Plaintiff] argues that the jury deliberations took only 45 minutes, and '[t]hese cursory 'deliberations' yielded a verdict counter to the great weight of the evidence.' However, '[b]rief jury deliberation is not, in itself, sufficient basis to support a new trial motion. [The] Fourth Circuit once upheld the trial court's denial of a new trial motion where the jury had deliberated only four minutes. . . .' Here, the jury was extremely attentive throughout the trial, as evidenced by the questions it submitted to be asked of witnesses, and appeared to take the matter very seriously."

ART+COM Innovationpool GmbH v. Google Inc., 1-14-cv-00217 (DED September 9, 2016, Order) (Dyk, CJ)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Signal Processing Patents Not Patent Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101​

The magistrate judge recommended denying defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that one of plaintiff’s signal processing patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "[Defendant] states that claim 1 itself shows the claim is directed to the abstract idea of 'decrypting encrypted information' or 'converting information from one format to another.'. . . The Court finds the elements of claim 1 show that the claim is directed to a method of using a 'control signal' associated with 'digital programming' to 'decrypt programming' 'based on' the 'control signal.' The Court finds that claim 1 is not directed to 'converting information from one format to another.' . . . [T]he claim and the specification show that using a 'control signal' to control decryption improves the way in which 'encrypted digital programming' is delivered."

Personalized Media Communications LLC v. Apple Inc., 2-15-cv-01366 (TXED September 13, 2016, Order) (Payne, MJ)