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Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Alice Rejection of Medical Billing Patent

The Federal Circuit has affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejection of a medical billing patent application as abstract under Alice.

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Federal Circuit Reverses Thales Visionix Alice Invalidation

The Federal Circuit reversed the Court of Federal Claims finding that Thales Visionix patent for an aircraft helmet was abstract under Alice in Thales Visionix v. US. The court found that the claims were directed to the use of the sensors for measurement, rather than the equations using the sensor data.

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Supreme Court Limits Export Liability in Life Tech v. Promega

The Supreme Court rejected Federal Circuit's reasoning in Life Tech v. Promega and held that the supply of a component for a multicomponent assembly that was assembled abroad did not give rise to infringement although when assembled abroad the assembly would infringe a US patent. The decision seems to have turned on whether one component was a "substantial portion of the components. However, it is still unclear what does remain a substatial portion.

Federal Circuit Changes Standard for Covered Business Method Review

The Federal Circuit found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) used an overly broad definition of financial activity in conducting a Covered Business Method Review in Secure Access v. PNC Bank. The decision follows Unwired Planet v. Google in reducing the scope of CBM reviews. Read the decision here.

 

The decision stated "A definition that could sweep that broadly obviously will not do. Necessarily, the statutory definition of a CBM patent requires that the patent have a claim that contains, however phrased, a financial activity element."

 

7,631,191

1. A method comprising:

transforming, at an authentication host computer, received data by inserting an authenticity key to create formatted data; and

returning, from the authentication host computer, the formatted data to enable the authenticity key to be retrieved from the formatted data and to locate a preferences file,

wherein an authenticity stamp is retrieved from the preferences file.

Federal Circuit Affirms Alice Invalidation in Evolutionary Intelligence v. Sprint

In a nonprecedential decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed that patents in the Evolutionary Intelligence v. Sprint patent litigation were invalid under Alice. Evolutionary Intelligence had argued that the patents improved the function of a computer, and contained an inventive concept of particular structures operating in a specific way.

 

The court disagreed, stating "The claims are unlike those in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., where 'the plain focus of the claims' was on 'an improvement to the computer functionality itself,' 822 F.3d 1327, 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2016), i.e., 'a specific improvement—a particular database technique—in how computers could carry out one of their basic functions of storage and retrieval of data,' regardless of subject matter or the use to which that functionality might be put, Elec. Power, 830 F.3d at 1354 (describing Enfish). Here, the claims are directed to selecting and sorting information by user interest or subject matter, a longstanding activity of libraries and other human enterprises."

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