The Alice v. CLS Bank Scorecard, Two Years Later

It has now been a two years since the Supreme Court rendered its now infamous Alice v. CLS Bank decision.  It is safe to say that the Alice decision has had a profound impact on software patent enforcement, both at the Federal Circuit and in the Federal district courts.

Here is a summary of Federal Circuit Section 101 software eligibility decisions.  As you will see, very few software patents have been upheld by the Federal Circuit in the last few years.

 

Breakdown of Federal Circuit 101 Cases, Post-Bilski, by Inventive Subject Matter

Inventive Concept
at Point of Novelty
Involving Software and/or Data Count of Eligible Rulings Count of Ineligible Rulings
Involves non-technological intangible rights, for example, contract and legal rights and obligations, or abstract tasks, pricing, e.g., review an insurance policy Yes—all 0 12
Involves data representing non-technological real-world objects, e.g., food objects Yes 0 1
Involves data processing of data representing technological real-world signals, e.g., GPS signals Yes 2 0
Involves technological feature/operation of a computer display/rendering system, e.g., halftoning of grayscale images, 3-D graphics, rendering Yes—all 1 2
Involves data representing the manipulation of non-technological abstract objects or concepts, e.g., virtual game objects or bingo game Yes—all 0 2
Involves method of (arguably) technological data processing, transformation and transmission, e.g., scanning/inputting and data input from telephone Yes—all 1 4
Involves technological arrangement Web page user interface or for serving Web pages used in a commercial Web site to achieve a business purpose Yes—all 1 2

 

 

Breakdown of Federal Circuit 101 Cases, Post-Bilski, by Technological Nature

Inventive Concept
at Point of Novelty
Involving Software and/or Data Count of Eligible Patents Count of Ineligible Patents
Involves non-technological point of novelty Yes—all 0 15
Involves technological point of novelty Yes—All 5 8

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Non-Technological Intangible Rights

Federal
Circuit Case
Patent(s) Subject Matter Eligible
IN RE SMITH, Appeal No. 2015-1664 (2016)

 

12/912,410 A card game involving rules for conducting a wagering game No
Versata Development Group, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc. (2015)

Ineligible

6,553,350 Pricing products in multi-level product and organizational groups

—Methods, computer-readable storage media, and apparatus

No
Intellectual Venture I LLC v. Capital One Bank (2015) 8,083,137

7,603,382

Credit facility for controlling financial transactions

—Methods

Advanced Internet interface providing user display access of customized Web pages

—Systems

No
OIP Technologies, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. (2015) 7,970,713 Automatic pricing in electronic commerce

—Methods

No
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. aka Freddie Mac v. Graff/Ross Holdings LLP (2015) 7,908,202

7,685,053

6,192,347

Securitizing property into separately valued components

—Methods and systems

No
Ultramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC (2014) 7,346,545 Payment of intellectual property royalties by interposed sponsor over a telecommunications network

—Methods

No
buySAFE, Inc. v. Google, Inc. (2014) 7,644,019 Safe transaction guaranty

—Methods and computer-readable media

No
Accenture Global Servs., GmbH v. Guidewire Software, Inc. (2013) 7,013,284 Component-based interface to handle tasks during claim processing

—Methods and systems

No
Bancorp Services LLC v. Sun Life Assurance Co. (2012) 5,926,792

7,246,037

System for managing a stable value-protected investment plan

—Methods and computer-readable media

No
Fort Properties Inc. v. American Master Lease LLC (2012) 6,292,788 Methods and investment instruments for performing tax-deferred real estate exchanges

—Methods

No
Dealertrack Inc. v. Huber (2012) 7,181,427 Automated credit application system

—Methods

No
Cybersource Corp. v. Retail Decisions Inc. Corp. (2011) 6,029,154 Method and system for detecting fraud in a credit card transaction over the Internet

—Computer-readable media and method

No

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Data Representing Non-Technological Real-World Objects

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
Dietgoal Innovations LLC v. Bravo Media LLC (2015) 6,585,516 Computerizing meal planning—Methods and systems No

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Processing of Data Representing Technological Real-World Signals

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
ELECTRIC POWER GROUP, LLC, v. ALSTOM S.A., ALSTOM GRID, INC., PSYMETRIX, LTD., ALSTOM LIMITED, (2016)

 

7,233,843

8,060,259

8,401,710

Deriving a composite indicator of reliability that is an indicator of power grid vulnerability from real time measurements or computations of measurements from the data grid as well as non-power grid data received from the non-grid data source No
SiRF Technology Inc v. International Trade Commission (2010) 6,417,801

6,937,187

Processing of GPS signals

—Methods

Yes

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Technological Feature/Operation of a Computer Display/Rendering System

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
Fuzzysharp Technologies Inc. v. Intel Corporation (2015) 6,618,047 Visibility calculations for 3D computer graphics

—Method

No
Digitech Image Technologies, LLC v. Electronics for Imaging, Inc. (2014) 6,128,415 Device profiles for use in a digital image processing system

—Device profile and methods

No
Research Corporation Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (2010) 5,111,310

5,341,228

Method and apparatus for halftone rendering of grayscale image using a blue noise mask

—Methods

Yes

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Data Representing the Manipulation of Non-Technological Abstract Objects or Concepts

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
Gametek LLC v. Zynga Inc. (2015) 7,076,445 Obtaining advantages and transacting the same in a computer gaming environment

—Methods

No
Planet Bingo, LLC v. VKGS LLC (2014) 6,398,646

6,656,045

Storing preselected numbers for use in games of bingo

—Methods and systems

No

 

Exhibit 6-8

Patents in Suit Involve Method of (Arguably) Technological Data Processing, Transformation and Transmission

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
ENFISH, LLC v. MICROSOFT CORP., 2016). 6,151,604

6,163,775

A self-referential table/data structure designed to improve the way a computer stores and retrieves data in memory Yes
BASCOM GLOBAL INTERNET SERVICES, INC. v. AT&T MOBILITY LLC, (2016). 5,987,606 A content filering system deployed at an ISP server and making it more dynamic and efficient Yes
TLI COMMUNICATIONS LLC v. AV AUTOMOTIVE, L.L.C., (Fed. Cir. May 17, 2016). 6,038,295 Classifying and storing digital images (of any type) in an organized manner No
Content Extraction v. Wells Fargo Bank (2014) 5,768,416

5,258,855

5,369,508

5,625,465

Scanning and information processing methodology

—Methods and machines

(interface/system)

No
Cyberfone v. CNN (2014) 8,019,060 Telephone/transaction entry device and system for entering transaction data into database

—Methods and systems

No

 

 

Patents in Suit Involve Technological Arrangement of Web Page UI or for
Serving Web Pages

Federal
Circuit Case
Patents Subject Matter Eligibility
Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Capital One Bank (2015) 8,083,137

7,603,382

Credit facility for controlling financial transactions

—Methods

Advanced Internet interface providing user display access of customized Web pages

—Systems

No
Internet Patents Corp. v. Active Network, Inc. (2015) 7,707,505 Dynamic tabs for a graphical user interface

—Methods, systems, computer-readable media

No
DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com (2014) 7,818,399 Expanding commercial opportunities for Internet Web sites Yes

 

 

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