September 28, 2023


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Patent Eligibility: Distinguishing Collecting Information from Using Information

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Patent Eligibility: Distinguishing Collecting Information from Using Information

by Dennis Crouch

I’m usually energized to study a selection that splits hairs–finding some promises in a patent legitimate and other people invalid.  My hope is that the explanation will definitely get to the crux of the problems and assist me to far better comprehend how the regulation performs. I’m typically let down, but the Federal Circuit’s most recent decision in Weisner v. Google LLC, — F.4th — (Fed. Cir. 2022) does give some good clues.  The essential consequence here: Weisner’s claims directed towards amassing data are summary concepts those people directed towards applying the data are patent qualified.  This outcome is consistent with what we are viewing in biotech as very well: diagnostics get a thumbs down therapeutics get a thumbs up.

Weisner sued Google for patent infringement again in 2020, asserting infringement of a family of 4 patents. U.S. Patent Nos. 10,380,202, 10,642,910, 10,394,905 and 10,642,911.  But, Google won the situation relatively promptly on a R.12(b)(6) movement to dismiss with a keeping from the district courtroom that the asserted statements are ineligible underneath 35 U.S.C. § 101 (abstract strategies).  On charm, a divided Federal Circuit has reversed-in-part, holding that some of the promises are patent suitable mainly because they implement “a certain option to a difficulty rooted in computer technologies.”  Alice Action 2.

Choose Stoll wrote the the greater part view joined by Judge Reyna. Decide Hughes dissented, arguing that all the statements are invalid.

Weisner’s 4 patents are all section of the very same family and all relate to means of recording a person’s actual physical spot heritage in methods that correspond to certain transactions. In the image (Fig.3 higher than), you can see the dude interacting with a Macy’s story product. Dude’s cellular phone is configured to report the transaction together with the site heritage and force it to the cloud.  Dude is executing some thing similar at Benson’s (Fig.4 underneath), but in that one particular he is getting into the transaction specifics manually considering the fact that Benson’s is a Brooklyn establishment and isn’t superior-tech like Macy’s.

The Federal Circuit divided the statements into two groups:

  • Claim Established A: Accumulating spot histories for afterwards use.
  • Declare Established B: Accumulating the locale history and also employing hose histories to increase research success (e.g., give various search effects if somebody has been to a Brooklyn Benson’s in advance of).

In the attractiveness, the Federal Circuit agreed that all of the claims fail Alice move 1. In specific, the court found that they were all directed to the unpatentable concept of “amassing facts on a user’s actions and area history and electronically recording that information.”  Fundamentally, this is an digital journey log that is properly the identical as what people have been executing for all of heritage.  As the district court wrote: “Humans have continuously retained data of a person’s spot and vacation in the form of travel logs, diaries, journals, and calendars, which compile facts these as time and locale.” Weisner v. Google LLC, 551 F. Supp. 3d 334 (S.D.N.Y. 2021).  Weisner argued that the claims ended up confined to retaining vacation record of customers only — a function that enhances info integrity.  On appeal however, the Federal Circuit turned down this assert as “attorney argument, unlinked to the complaint or the patent claims or specifications.”  Even however eligibility is a issue of law, it should continue to be based mostly on a thing far more than merely lawyer argument.

At stage 2, the courtroom also agreed that Claim Established A was not salvageable simply because the recited innovations are all simply generically claimed factors.

But, Claim Set B is various. Initial, simply because Established B adds the look for results uses, the Federal Circuit uncovered it to be a “much closer question” as to irrespective of whether they are directed to an abstract concept.  In the conclude nevertheless the court concluded that the statements are directed to an abstract strategy at Alice Action 1.  I take note right here that the appellate court docket did not use any actual analysis to choose this problem other than seemingly legal professional judgely  argument.  Probably the court need to have checked the prior part of this extremely impression wherever it discounted mere attorney argument on the exact same matter.

At Alice Step 2, the court docket concluded that the claims recite a particular implementation that – at the very least at this stage – must have survived a movement to dismiss mainly because they “plausibly capture an ingenious principle.  Here, the court notes that the inventive strategy arrives from tying searches to a 3rd occasion “reference individual” whose location historical past is equivalent to the bash executing an world-wide-web lookup. “The procedure then prioritizes search success that the reference particular person has frequented.”  In its decision, the Federal Circuit discussed that this linkage is additional than merely “improving internet research applying site history.” Fairly, it is a distinct implementation of that strategy.

Choose Hughes wrote in dissent that the claimed lookup improvements are just like any previous look for with the addition of new searchable info — location history.  The Stoll the greater part responds in a footnote that Judge Hughes feeling “misses the point” by discounting the significance of prioritizing journey histories in the search.  As I outlined in the intro, this consequence matches a regular solution that we are looking at in eligibility circumstances — it is a great deal easier to defend methods of making use of facts than it is to safeguard solutions of amassing info.  In the use-circumstance, the information by itself blended with some use will often be observed as an creative notion.  On the other hand, the courts have been significantly less eager to say that collecting details is patent suitable.

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The patents here are co-owned by the inventors, Sholem Weisner and Schmuel Nemanov.   Weisner wanted to sue Google, but Nemanov refused.   Weisner went ahead and sued Google and also joined Namanov as an involuntary bash beneath FRCP 19(a).  See, AsymmetRx, Inv. v. Biocare Med., 582 F.3d 1314, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 2009)(“A patentee that does not voluntarily sign up for an action prosecuted by its distinctive licensee can be joined as a defendant….”).   The agreement concerning the two events is a bit exciting. Weisner owns 78% of the legal rights, and the parties agreed that he would control exploitation of the patent “and will not be undercut by a minority owner.” WeisnerNemanovAgreement. The two battled these challenges in a parallel lawsuit in NY State Court. WEISNER, SHOLEM vs. NEMANOV, SHMUEL, Docket No. 502269/2020 (N.Y. Sup Ct. Jan 29, 2020).

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