Monday, April 09, 2018

Maxon loses on 101 at CAFC

As to the 101 issue in Maxon v. Funai:

Patent eligibility under § 101 is a legal determination
that we review de novo. buySAFE, Inc. v. Google, Inc.,
765 F.3d 1350, 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Under Alice, we
consider: (1) whether the claims are directed to an abstract
idea, and (2) whether the claims contain an inventive
concept sufficient to transform the claimed
abstract idea into a patent-eligible concept. Alice Corp.
Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2355 (2014).
The use of “wholly generic computer implementation”
cannot “transform a patent-ineligible abstract idea into a
patent-eligible invention.” Id. at 2358.

Maxon concedes that the patents are directed to the
abstract idea of “decentralized delivery controlled by the
owner of a plurality of devices.” Appellant’s Op. Br. 11.
Accordingly, the only issue before the district court was
whether the claims “do significantly more than simply
describe the abstract method.” Affinity Labs of Tex., LLC
v. DIRECTV, LLC, 838 F.3d 1262 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The
court found that they do not.

The CAFC stated:

The district court also correctly found that the ordered
combination of the claimed elements is not inventive
under Alice step two. Analyzing claim 8 of the ’160 patent,
the court noted:
[T]he invention consists of some kind of memory
capable of identifying the device and the networks
to which it is connected, the ability to take instructions
and use them in connection with the
stored identification data, and the ability to send
and receive signals based on the processor’s abilities.
That describes only the desired result—
increased user control over services available to
him or her—without describing any inventive way
that result is reached. The only method of reaching
the result the patent teaches is, in essence,
use of generic computer components for their
standard purposes to achieve the result. Nothing
about the order of the elements, or the way they
are combined, suggests inventiveness.
J.A. 11–12. We agree that the representative claim does
not recite anything beyond the application of routine and
conventional computer components. The same principles
apply to each of the asserted patents in this case. We
have considered Maxon’s other arguments and find them
unpersuasive. Accordingly, we find that the patents only
cover ineligible subject matter.


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