Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Are Business Method Patents still valid?

Business method claims have had less luck than software claims after the Supreme Court’s Alice decision. Most business method claims reviewed by the Federal Circuit are found invalid under Section 101 for merely reciting an abstract idea. As an example of business method claims found valid under Section 101 post-Alice, we have to turn to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), which recently found valid business method claims directed towards a method for processing paper checks in U.S. Bancrop v. Solutran, Inc. During the review, the PTAB examined each claim as a whole finding that the method for processing paper checks “is more akin to a physical process than an abstract idea.” The PTAB reasoned that limitations, such as “receiving said paper checks and scanning said checks with a digital scanner,” and “comparing by a computer said digital images,” cause the claim as a whole to recite patent-eligible subject matter rather than merely an attempt to claim “fundamental economic practices, mathematical algorithms, or basic tools of scientific and technological work.” Reasoning that the claims were not directed towards an abstract idea, the PTAB did not analyze the claims under the second prong of the Alice/Mayo test.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Tracking #AliceStorm

It's been six weeks since my last AliceStorm update, and we've had plenty of action: twelve section101 decisions, and fourteen patents invalidated in just that period. That said, the success rate of motions on the pleadings is dropping, now down to a mere 69.6%. At PTAB, ten new institution decisions, all of which were granted on ineligibility grounds. And PTAB continues with its 100% kill rate, with seven (!) final decisions invalidating patents.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Naked Emperors, the US Supreme court

Gene Quinn of has written this essay on why the US Supreme court is incompetent to rule on technology issues

He points out that they are old, were all educated in "Ivy League" universities, "all went to the same places, they ate the same places, they drank the same drinks, were taught by the same people and now they lived the same lives for the vast majority of their professional careers"

He then shows how they made simple mistakes of fact such as declaring a new manmade molecule that does not appear in nature to be naturally occurring and  (in a reply to a comment on the blog) of confusing the two different elements manganese and magnesium.

"The idea that the Supreme Court is at all capable of understanding — let alone deciding — issues of a technical nature is ridiculous. Yet their individual and collective lack of knowledge hasn’t prevented them from reaching misguided decisions in a variety of cases."

Full article at