Federal Circuit Upholds Two Courts’ Conclusions that Distant Teaching Patents are Ineligible

Federal Circuit Upholds Two Courts’ Conclusions that Distant Teaching Patents are Ineligible

“The CAFC claimed the know-how recited in the assert just serves a ‘a conduit for the summary idea’ and does not offer a technological option to a particular technological trouble.”

Federal Circuit Upholds Two Courts’ Conclusions that Distant Teaching Patents are IneligibleThe U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) now affirmed one district courtroom selection and dismissed yet another as moot, obtaining that Riggs Technological know-how Holdings, Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 7,299,067 for remote education and education units is patent ineligible as it is “plainly drawn to an abstract thought.” Decide Chen authored equally opinions.

Riggs sued Cengage Learning, Inc. in the U.S. District Court docket for the District of Massachusetts for infringement of the ‘067 patent, but the district court docket granted Cengage’s Movement to Dismiss primarily based on patent ineligibility. The court held that the patent “is plainly drawn to an summary plan,” and that “the strategy fundamental the statements of the ’067 patent—providing, handling, and/or documenting teaching done remotely on a handheld device—is akin to these identified in statements the Federal Circuit has considered abstract and ineligible.”

Just Like Killian

In its discussion, the Federal Circuit described that representative Declare 1 of the patent, which is directed to “a strategy of handling education accomplished remotely at a hand held unit,” followed by seven methods, describes the “abstract psychological process of managing training that was offered remotely.” Whilst Riggs had tried to argue that the claim addresses a challenge rooted in pc technological know-how to fix a issue in the realm of laptop or computer networks, the CAFC claimed the technologies recited in the assert basically serves a “a conduit for the abstract idea” and does not offer a technological alternative to a specific technological challenge. The Federal Circuit cited to In re Killian as precedent for its evaluation:

“In Killian, we held claims reciting a “search algorithm for identifying people today who may perhaps be qualified for [Social Security Disability Insurance] gains that they are not receiving” were being “directed to [a] patent-ineligible abstract psychological approach.”… We defined that the “claims ought to fail Alice/Mayo phase just one as they are directed to collection of info, comprehending the indicating of that collected details, and indicator of the results, all on a generic laptop network operating in its standard, envisioned method.”

Like Killian, Riggs’ Assert 1 is directed to accumulating and storing facts applying a generic computer, claimed the court.

Turning to Alice/Mayo stage two, the appellate courtroom also mentioned the assert simply instructed the practitioner to perform the abstract methods on a generic pc, as was the scenario in Killian. The critical creative notion recited in Riggs’ patent is carrying out remote education on a handheld gadget, like a cellular cellular phone, but the CAFC reported the Supreme Court docket stated in Alice that “‘limiting the use of an abstract thought to a specific technological environment’ is not adequate for patent eligibility.” The specification and the promises both use language that helps make it apparent the methods recited in declare 1 are not intended to be concluded with just about anything other than “well-recognized engineering made use of in a program and conventional manner,” stated the court, and thus the assert unsuccessful at move two as very well.

Alright to Dismiss at 12(b)(6)

Ultimately, Riggs experienced argued that the situation should not be dismissed at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage since no matter if the promises address conventional technology or not depends on a factual analysis that is not done at this preliminary stage. But the CAFC, citing Aatrix Program, Inc. v. Green Shades Software package, Inc., mentioned, “[w]e have held that patent eligibility can be decided at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage ‘when there are no factual allegations that, taken as accurate, avoid resolving the eligibility question as a issue of regulation.” The court docket added that, because the specification obviously admits that the further claim aspects are regimen and standard, “it will be challenging, if not unachievable, for a patentee to present a authentic dispute,” more justifying dismissal at the 12(b)(6) stage.

In a independent case introduced by Riggs in opposition to Vagaro, Inc. in the Northern District of California alleging infringement of the very same patent, the same panel of CAFC judges dismissed Riggs’ attraction as moot centered on the reasoning established forth in the attraction over.

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