Tuesday, February 26, 2019

University of Florida Research Foundation loses appeal from ND FL at the CAFC

The CAFC affirmed a determination by the Northern District Court of Florida:

The University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc.
(“UFRF”) is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 7,062,251, titled
“Managing Critical Care Physiologic Data Using Data
Synthesis Technology.” In 2017, UFRF sued General Electric Company,
GE Medical Systems Information Technologies, Inc., and GE Medical Systems,
Inc. (collectively, “GE”)
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida,
alleging infringement of the ’251 patent.
GE moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6),
arguing the claims of the ’251 patent are directed to
ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
The district court granted GE’s motion. Applying the twostep framework
set forth in Alice Corp. Party Ltd. v. CLS
Bank International, 573 U.S. 208, 217 (2014), the district
court determined the claims of the ’251 patent are directed
to an abstract idea and do not recite an inventive concept.
UFRF appeals. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1295(a)(1). We affirm.

Within the decision:

Unlike laches, which conflicts with
the statute of limitations set forth in § 282, treating a § 101
eligibility challenge as a defense to a claim of patent
infringement poses no conflict with § 282 and, thus, no risk
of “jettison[ing] Congress’ judgment.”
We do not read SCA
Hygiene to undermine our holding in Dealertrack.
Even if § 282 did not extend to a § 101 eligibility challenge,
such a challenge would still be a defense to a claim
of infringement.1 We and the Supreme Court have long
treated § 101 eligibility as a “condition[] of patentability”
alongside §§ 102 and 103. See, e.g., Graham v. John Deere
Co., 383 U.S. 1, 12 (1966) (“The Act sets out the conditions
of patentability in three sections . . . novelty and utility as
articulated and defined in § 101 and § 102, and nonobviousness . . .
as set out in § 103.”); Versata Dev. Gr., Inc. v.
SAP Am., Inc., 793 F.3d 1306, 1330 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (“It
would require a hyper-technical adherence to form rather
than an understanding of substance to arrive at a conclusion that § 101
is not a ground available to test patents.”);
Aristocrat Techs. Austl. PTY Ltd. v. Int’l Game Tech., 543
F.3d 657, 661 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (“It has long been understood
that the Patent Act sets out the conditions for patentability
in three sections: sections 101, 102, and 103.”). And we and


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