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“The Magic of the Internet”

January 24, 2013

While we all wait for the Federal Circuit to explain whether, when, and how abstract idea + computer = patent eligibility, courts continue to face motions to dismiss (or motions for summary judgment) on grounds that the computer– or Internet– related patent in question claims ineligible subject matter.

In Cardpool, Inc. v. Plastic Jungle, Inc., pending in the Northern District of California, Judge Alsup made short work of such a patent early on in the litigation—without necessity of claim construction. Noting that CLS Bank would not alter (and could not bypass) the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Mayo v. Prometheus, which concluded that the “prohibition against patenting abstract ideas cannot be circumvented by attempting to limit the use of the formula to a particular technological environment,” the Court granted the motion to dismiss on the ground of subject matter eligibility.:

“Even assuming, arguendo, that every step in the patent were implemented with a computer, or the magic of the internet, the invention is unpatentable. Plaintiff’s attempt to ‘inextricably intertwine’ the claim terms with computerized application is unavailing.”

It’s a drum we’ve beaten before, but the doctrine of patent eligibility can offer courts a quick path to a resolution of patent cases like this one—saving the parties money and the courts time.

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