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CAFC Updates


By October 13, 2022March 7th, 2024No Comments

Mr. Weisner sued Google LLC for infringement, asserting four patents. Google moved to dismiss, arguing 1) that the asserted patent claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and 2) that Weisner had failed to meet the minimum threshold for plausibly pleading his claim of patent infringement. The district court granted dismissal on both grounds and provided Weisner an opportunity to file an amended complaint. Weisner filed a Second Amended Complaint, adding allegations of infringement and allegations related to patent eligibility. Google again moved to dismiss on the same two grounds, and the district court granted dismissal based on § 101. Weisner appeals. Under step one of the Alice test, the CAFC agrees with the district court that two of the asserted patents are essentially are directed to an abstract idea, specifically to creating a travel log. Automation or digitization of a conventional method of organizing human activity like the creation of a travel log on a computer does not bring the claims out of the realm of abstractness. With respect to step two of the Alice test, the CAFC concludes that these claims do not recite significantly more than the abstract idea of digitizing a travel log using conventional components. However, with respect to the other two asserted patents, the CAFC initially notes that at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage, the court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and must construe all reasonable inferences in favor of Weisner. After finding in step one of Alice that the representative claims of the other two asserted patents are directed to creating and using travel histories to improve computerized search results, the CAFC concludes that Weisner has plausibly alleged that the claims of the other two asserted patents recite a specific implementation of the abstract idea that purports to solve a problem unique to the Internet and that, accordingly, these claims should not have been held ineligible under step of Alice two at this stage. Accordingly, the CAFC affirms the district court’s dismissal as to two of the asserted patents, and reverses the district court’s dismissal as to the claims of the other two asserted patents. Judge Hughes dissents and would find all challenged claims ineligible because the second amended complaint admits that the algorithms used to incorporate location data are routine and conventional, and because the claims do not solve a problem specific to the internet.

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