Friday, November 13, 2009

Tax Refund Loan Patents Deemed Invalid Under In re Bilski

The magistrate judge recommended granting summary judgment of invalidity as to patents claiming a "computerized system" consisting of a computer and "certain financial relationships between entities" for failing to claim patentable subject matter under In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 950-51 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), petition for cert. granted, 129 S.Ct. 2735 (2009). "A financial relationship is simply an abstract intellectual concept. Absent the recitation of a computer, the [patent-in-suit] would certainly claim unpatentable subject matter. . . . The computer component is not a particular, special-purpose machine; it is capable of no more than storing and retrieving data memorializing associations. The computer is an insignificant, extra-solution component of the claimed system. . . . If an extra-solution step is insufficient to render an otherwise unpatentable process claim valid, then by analogy an extra-solution component is insufficient to render an otherwise unpatentable 'system' claim valid."

H&R Block Tax Services, Inc. v. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Inc.,
6-08-cv-00037 (TXED November 10, 2009, Report and Recommendations) (Love, M.J.)

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