Saturday, October 01, 2022

Cooperative Entertainment wins appeal

The outcome

Cooperative Entertainment, Inc. (Cooperative) appeals the United States District Court for the Northern District of California’s dismissal of its amended complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), which held all claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,432,452 ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. We reverse the district court’s dismissal and remand for further proceedings.

As to 101

There are at least two alleged inventive concepts in claim 1 which should have precluded the district court’s holding on ineligibility. The first is the required dynamic P2P network wherein multiple peer nodes consume the same content and are configured to communicate outside the CDNs. ’452 patent at claim 1 (“at least one peer-to-peer (P2P) dynamic network including a multiplicity of peer nodes, wherein the multiplicity of peer nodes consume the same content within a predetermined time, . . . wherein the multiplicity of peer nodes is distributed outside controlled networks and/or content distribution networks (CDNs)”). The second requires trace routes be used in content segmentation. Id. at claim 1 (“wherein content segmentation is based on CDN address resolution, trace route to CDN and P2P server manager, dynamic feedback from peers reporting traffic rates between individual peer and its neighbors, round-robin and other server side scheduling/resource allocation techniques”).


Contrary to the district court’s conclusion, Kollective, 544 F. Supp. 3d at 897, Cooperative’s allegations related to system capacity are plausibly tethered to claim 1’s distribution of content within its P2P network outside the control of a CDN. ’452 patent at 9:54–60 (“The systems and methods of the present invention provide for harnessing the content recipient devices to aggregate or assemble intelligent functionality of the devices unassociated with the content receipt, including but not limited to computational storage and processing capacity of the content recipient devices in the P2P dynamic network . . . .” (emphasis added)); see also J.A. 48 ¶ 19 (“Claim 1, like all the claims, covers the virtual layer outside the control of the prior art distribution scheme pushed from the CDN.”). Drawing all inferences in favor of Cooperative, as we must on a motion to dismiss, we conclude that claim 1 recites a specific technical solution that is an inventive concept: it recites a particular arrangement of peer nodes for distributing content “outside controlled networks and/or [CDNs],” ’452 patent at claim 1, which did not exist in the prior art, ’452 patent at 3:35–36. This is not an “abstract idea implemented on a generic computer,” and it is alleged to improve the performance of the content delivery network with reductions in costs and improvements in several aspects of system performance.


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