Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, July 28, 2014 will be a discussion of two Federal Circuit cases. The first pertains to subject matter eligibility. The second pertains to the grant of a stay during the pendency of a later-filed covered business method patents review. Brief synopses of the cases appear below.
Digitech Image Tech., LLC. v. Electronics for Imaging, Inc. et al, No. 2013-1600 etc. (Fed. Cir. July 11, 2014) (available here). The plaintiff asserted a patent related to an “improved device profile” for the color and spatial profile of devices such as digital image processors, such as digital cameras. On motion of several defendants, the district court found that the patent’s “improved device profile” amounted to data that was not within the categories of statutory subject matter under Section 101.
The Federal Circuit, here, agreed with the district court finding that the device profile claims were directed to data, which is not one of the identified categories and, further, that the method claims are directed to an “abstract idea” and, therefore are not eligible for patent protection.
VirtualAgility Inc. v. Salesforce.com, Inc. et al., No. 2014-1232 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014) (available here). VirtualAgility sued several defendants in January of 2013. In May of 2013, some of those defendants sought review under the new AIA CBM patent review process. Specifically, the defendants asserted that the patent was invalid under Sections 101, 102, and 103. Shortly thereafter, the defendants sought a stay in the case. The district court denied the motion in January of 2014, with claim construction then due to be completed in April.
The Federal Circuit entered a stay pending interlocutory appeal (available under the AIA for refusals to grant stays). Under a very careful review of the four factors set forth in the statute, the Federal Circuit found that the district court incorrectly evaluated two of the factors and, therefore, three of the four weighed in favor of granting a stay. Accordingly, the district court was reversed and the stay was granted pending completion of the CBM review.
All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, July 28, 2014 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Smith by 9 am Monday morning.