Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Process Automation” Patent Infringement Suit

By Zach Schroeder and David G. Barker On March 15, 2022, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Eastern District of Texas’s dismissal of a patent infringement complaint because the asserted patent claims were directed to process automation and therefore not eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Repifi Vendor Logistics sued Intellicentrics for infringing its ‘268 patent “directed to a method of credentialing visitors to an access-controlled environment by an access administrator.”  The typical process of credentialing visitors involves a live receptionist collecting information, verifying information, and creating disposable visitor passes.  Repifi’s patent included claims for automating this process   Read More »

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Vibrations at the Federal Circuit: American Axle and the “New” “Nothing More” Test of Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

By Daniel M. Staren and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit’s recent decisions in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC have not clarified the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (see a previous analysis of § 101’s unpredictability here). In this case, significant differences among Federal Circuit judges turned on whether a patent claim that invokes a natural law, and nothing else, to accomplish a desired result is patent eligible under Section 101. Despite strong dissents regarding this “nothing more” test, the original and modified panel opinions and the 6-6 order denying rehearing en   Read More »

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Legislators Propose Patent Eligibility Overhaul

By Zachary G. Schroeder,* Jacob C. Jones, and David G. Barker In April, we posted an article titled “Section 101 in 2019” summarizing the existing patent eligibility test, discussing recent Federal Circuit decisions, and providing practical strategies for practitioners to navigate the Section 101 landscape. That article highlighted the lack of certainty and predictability under existing law. Bipartisan lawmakers recently released a draft revision to Section 101 abrogating U.S. Supreme Court precedent that has denied patent eligibility where the claimed invention is directed to an abstract idea, law of nature, or natural phenomenon. The bipartisan, bicameral draft bill was created following   Read More »

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Section 101 in 2019

Snell & Wilmer Lawyers presented their article, Section 101 in 2019, at the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, as part of a program, “101 ‘301’: Advanced Subject Matter Eligibility.”  The article summarizes the existing patent eligibility test, discusses recent Federal Circuit decisions, and provides practical strategies for practitioners navigating the Section 101 landscape.

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Supreme Court: Mere Computer Implementation Does Not Make an Abstract Idea Patentable

Today, the Supreme Court in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank unanimously held that all of Alice’s asserted claims were drawn to patent-ineligible abstract ideas.  The Court reaffirmed the framework established in Mayo v. Prometheus for determining whether a claim contains one of the implicit exceptions to patent-eligible subject matter:  laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. Under Mayo, the Court must first “determine whether the claims at issue are directed to one of those patent-ineligible concepts.”  If the claim contains a patent-ineligible concept, then the court must determine whether the additional elements “transform the nature of the claim” into   Read More »

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