Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Boilerplate – New Consideration in View of Patent Subject Matter

Can boilerplate language describing possible variations to an invention ever impact validity of a patent?

Many software patents include standard “boilerplate” text describing many ways to implement an invention, such as by discussing execution of the software on a smart phone, laptop, mainframe, PDA, audio player, or even a refrigerator! This boilerplate language is often added to patent applications to broaden the potential scope of the recited terms or provide additional support for recited claim terms.

In Nextpoint v. Hewlett-Packard, an Illinois district court used such “broadening” boilerplate language against the patent holder deciding this is an abstract idea and thus not eligible for patent protection under section 101.